Journal Article

The importance of policy orientation and environment on physical activity participation—a comparative analysis between Eastern Germany, Western Germany and Finland

Timo Ståhl, Alfred Rütten, Don Nutbeam and Lasse Kannas

in Health Promotion International

Volume 17, issue 3, pages 235-246
Published in print September 2002 | ISSN: 0957-4824
Published online September 2002 | e-ISSN: 1460-2245 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/17.3.235
The importance of policy orientation and environment on physical activity participation—a comparative analysis between Eastern Germany, Western Germany and Finland

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Public Health and Epidemiology

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

Environmental and policy interventions are seen as boosting physical activity because they are designed to influence large groups. However, they have not been much researched and the evidence on their role is still quite limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in and relationships between policy orientation, the objective and perceived physical environment, and physical activity between Finland, Eastern Germany and Western Germany. The data are taken from a public telephone survey carried out as part of the international MAREPS project (Methodology for the Analysis of Rationality and Effectiveness of Prevention and Health Promotion Strategies; Eastern Germany, n = 913; Western Germany, n = 489; Finland, n = 400), statistics of sports facilities and policy documents. Results from the survey showed that Finns are more active than Germans and that they differ in their way of practising physical activity from Germans. Finns were more satisfied with their opportunities for physical activity and were better informed about physical programmes and measures. Finland also has the best opportunities in indoor sports facilities and outdoor sports grounds per number of inhabitants (excluding indoor swimming pools). Analysis of policy orientations showed that Finland had the most extensive ‘Sport for All’ policy, although West Germany’s policy orientation did not differ that much from Finland’s. East Germany’s policy orientation was characterized by competitive sports. A policy orientation that places emphasis on the physical activity of the whole population seems to be related to better opportunities and a better infrastructure for sports and physical activity. This study suggests that there is a relationship between policy orientation, physical environment and physical activity participation.

Keywords: environment; physical activity; policy; sports facilities

Journal Article.  5991 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.