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Public Health. 2006 Mar;120(3):206-12. Epub 2005 Dec 9.

Planning to win: Health and lifestyles associated with physical activity amongst 15,423 adults.

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  • 1Bolton Primary Care Trust, St Peters House, Silverwell Street, Bolton, BL1 1PP UK.



To assess levels of physical activity in the general population and amongst the 'healthy', and to identify factors associated with this important health behaviour.


Population-based cross-sectional study.


North-west England.


Adults (aged at least 18 years) registered with a general practitioner with a residential address within two local administrative districts (local authorities).


Less than one-third of adults performed adequate amounts of physical activity for health protection, and this differed little when analyses were restricted to 'healthy' people. Lower levels of physical activity were observed amongst women, older people, ethnic groups, those with obesity and in each increased quintile of social deprivation. Current smokers, but not previous smokers, were less likely to be physically active, as were those not eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. Lack of physical activity was associated with poor general health and a history of, or current, chronic disease.


Concerted efforts are required by the Government, society and individuals to overturn our predominantly physically inactive adult population. Interventions may be needed which specifically target certain groups, especially the most socially deprived, and that consider individuals and societal barriers to becoming physically active. Evidence of the effectiveness of individual and population-based interventions remains scant and this needs to be addressed urgently.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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