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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2008 Apr 28;5:22. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-5-22.

Knowledge of and preferred sources of assistance for physical activity in a sample of urban Indigenous Australians.

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School of Public Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.



To examine urban Indigenous Australians' knowledge of the current Physical Activity Guidelines (PAG) and identify their preferred sources of assistance or advice regarding physical activity.


Self-completed questionnaire data were collected from 194 participants; the questionnaires sought information on standard demographics including an assessment of their perceived physical activity level relative to peers. Outcome measures were agreement with five statements from the current PAG and indicators of preferred sources of assistance or advice regarding physical activity.


Most participants demonstrated excellent knowledge of the current PAG, with 92% to 88% of participants agreeing with the statements. Significantly more older participants (> 44 years) identified that 'blocks of 10 minutes of activity are OK' compared to younger participants (aged 18-44 years: 60%; X2 = 6.23; p = .04). Significantly more higher educated participants agreed (96%) that 'brisk walking for half an hour most days was good for health' compared to the less educated participants (85%; X2 = 8.08; p = .02). The most preferred source of physical activity advice identified by men was the GP/health professional (62% vs. 53%; men and women respectively, NS), while for women it was a group to be active with (60% vs. 42%; women and men respectively; X2 = 6.09; p = .01).


Urban Indigenous Australians have similar levels of knowledge regarding the PAG to non-Indigenous Australians. However, the option of accumulating 10-minute activity bouts needs to be better communicated to younger Indigenous people. Most participants expressed a preference for advice about physical activity to be delivered via health professionals, and groups to be active with. Indigenous and age-specific resources that promote the unique aspects of the current PAG (e.g., that vigorous exercise is not essential for health and blocks of 10 minutes of activity are OK) should be developed and disseminated.

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