Not quite city and not quite rural: Active lifestyle beliefs in peri‐urban Australians
Jenny L. Olson BSc (Hons), Sonja March PhD, Bonnie Clough PhD, Stuart J. H. Biddle PhD and Michael Ireland PhD
Abstract: Residents of peri‐urban Australia face health inequalities compared to city dwellers. Active lifestyles provide many benefits that could improve the health of this population; however, peri‐urban Australians are more likely to be inactive and sedentary. The aim of this study was to identify the physical activity and sedentary behaviour‐related beliefs of peri‐urban Australians.
Methods: Semi‐structured interviews were undertaken with adult residents of peri‐urban, southern Queensland. Participants (N = 8) were recruited from a related study, purposefully selected to ensure diversity. Data were analysed by thematic analysis. Interviews were conducted until data and inductive‐thematic saturation were reached.
Results: Three themes were identified, representing beliefs about intrapersonal, interpersonal/socio‐cultural and physical environmental factors relevant to active lifestyles among peri‐urban Australians. Active lifestyle behaviours were perceived as beneficial for health. Social interaction was described as an important outcome of physical activity. Features of the physical environment negatively impacted the perceived difficulty of performing physical activity and avoiding sedentary behaviour.
Conclusions: Active lifestyle strategies that support social interaction through physical activity and participation in sports may be particularly useful in peri‐urban environments where opportunities for social interaction are limited. Such strategies should also take into account contextual factors that negatively impact active lifestyle control beliefs (eg, distance).