Opportunities, barriers and constraints to physical activity in rural Queensland, Australia

Eley, Robert, Bush, Robert and Brown, Wendy J. (2014) Opportunities, barriers and constraints to physical activity in rural Queensland, Australia. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 11 1: 68-75. doi:10.1123/jpah.2011-0312

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Author Eley, Robert
Bush, Robert
Brown, Wendy J.
Title Opportunities, barriers and constraints to physical activity in rural Queensland, Australia
Journal name Journal of Physical Activity and Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1543-3080
Publication date 2014-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1123/jpah.2011-0312
Open Access Status
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 68
End page 75
Total pages 8
Place of publication Champaign, IL, United States
Publisher Human Kinetics
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Interventions addressing chronic disease through physical activity are hampered by the low evidence base from rural areas. The purpose of the study was to provide information which may contribute to the development of future policy and strategy applicable to rural Queensland.


Six diverse rural shires were chosen. A mixed method design included more than 100 interviews with community representatives; surveys to 3000 community members; audits of facilities, amenities, and other relevant resources in each shire; and by detailed observation during repeated site visits.

Half the respondents failed to meet Australian physical activity guidelines and one in five reported no activity. Queensland's rural communities offer good access to a wide variety of structured and non-structured activities. Some barriers to physical activity (e.g. family commitments) are similar to those reported from urban areas; however others including climate, culture of exercise and community leadership are unique to the rural environment.


Unique characteristics of rural environments and populations affect engagement in physical activity. Promotion of healthy lifestyle in rural environments need to be informed by local context and not merely extrapolated from urban situations. Attention must be paid to specific local circumstances which may affect implementation, adoption and participation.
Keyword Chronic disease
Community-based research
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Created: Fri, 18 Jan 2013, 13:11:20 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences