Walking for recreation and transport by geographic remoteness in South Australian adults

Narelle M. Berry, Melanie Smith, Shahid Ullah, James Dollman

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: To determine differences in walking for recreation and transport between Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) categories, in South Australian adults. 
Design: Cross-sectional self-reported data from adult telephone survey respondents between April and May in 2012 and 2013. 
Setting: Population of South Australia. 
Participants: A total of 4004 adults (aged over 18 years) participated: n = 1956 men and n = 2048 women. Area of residence was categorised using ARIA (major city, inner regional, outer regional and remote/very remote). 
Main outcome measure(s): Self-reported participation in walking for transport and recreation/exercise as the number of times and minutes per week. Data were analysed using Kruskal–Wallis test for median minutes and negative binomial regression for times walked with adjustment for socioeconomic status, age and body mass index. 
Results: Average age was 47.8 ± 18.5 years, 51.1% were women, 70.9% lived in the major cities, 14.6% in inner regional, 10.8% in outer regional and 3.6% in remote/very remote areas. Relative to major city, times walked for recreation was lower for only remote/very remote residents (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 0.74 (95%CI 0.59–0.92), P = 0.008). This difference was only observed for men (IRR 0.54 (95%CI 0.39–0.73), P < 0.001). Relative to major city, times walked for transport was less for inner regional (IRR 0.74 (95%CI 0.67–0.85), P < 0.001) and outer regional (IRR 0.64 (95%CI 0.56–0.74), P < 0.001) only. This difference in transport walking was seen in both men and women. 
Conclusion: Frequency of walking varied by purpose, level of remoteness and sex. As walking is the focus of population-level health promotion, more detailed understanding of the aetiology of regular walking is needed. 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155–162
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • walking
  • physical activity
  • rural
  • urban
  • public health

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