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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2016 Feb;40(1):83-90. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12455. Epub 2015 Oct 11.

Physical activity recommendations from general practitioners in Australia. Results from a national survey.

Author information

1
Freemasons Foundation Centre of Men's Health, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
2
School of Medical and Applied Sciences, Central Queensland University.
3
School of Human, Health, and Social Sciences, Central Queensland University.
4
Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, School of Medicine, Flinders University, South Australia.
5
Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Universiteit Gent, Belgium.
6
Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Medicine & Public Health, The University of Newcastle, New South Wales.
7
School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
8
Exercise for Health and Human Performance Research Group, School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia.
9
Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify subgroups of Australian adults likely to receive physical activity advice from their general practitioner and to evaluate the content of the advice provided.

METHODS:

Participants (n=1,799), recruited from the Australian Health and Social Science panel, completed an online survey. Signal Detection Analysis was used to identify subgroups that were more/less likely to have received physical activity recommendations.

RESULTS:

Overall, 18% of participants received a physical activity recommendation from their general practitioner in the past 12 months and eight unique subgroups were identified. The subgroup with the highest proportion (54%) of participants reporting that they received a physical activity recommendation was those with poor physical and mental health-related quality of life and an average daily sitting time of <11 hours. Other subgroups with high proportions of individuals receiving recommendations were characterised by higher weight and/or the presence of co-morbidities. The most commonly prescribed physical activity type was aerobic activity. Few participants received specific physical activity advice.

CONCLUSIONS:

General practitioners are incorporating physical activity promotion into their practice, but primarily as a disease management tool and with limited specificity.

IMPLICATIONS:

Strategies to assist Australian general practitioners to effectively promote physical activity are needed.

KEYWORDS:

general practitioners; intervention; physical activity

PMID:
26456595
DOI:
10.1111/1753-6405.12455
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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