Physical activity, health and wellness levels amongst adults in Northern Ireland.

DONNELLY, Paul F. (2013). Physical activity, health and wellness levels amongst adults in Northern Ireland. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Background: The five objectives (three primary and two secondary) of the current study were to (i) derive an appropriate research instrument that will gain acceptance with stakeholders in the form of a national baseline survey of physical activity in Northern Ireland; (ii) quantify the physical activity levels amongst the adult population in Northern Ireland in the four domains of home, transportation, work, and sport/leisure relative, and to assess this activity against the UK Chief Medical Officer's recommendations; (iii) identify the characteristics associated with physical activity levels and their relationship with physiological measures such as self-reported height and weight (in order to compute BMI); lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and healthy eating habits; and perceived health and happiness measures; (iv) examine the correlates of participation with physical activity; and (v) examine the implications for government policies relating to the achievement of positive health outcomes using physical activity as a driver.Methodology: The research was conducted between July 2009 and August 2010 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of Sport Northern Ireland (with the author as lead officer) and a number of partner organisations in Northern Ireland. A representative sample of 4,653 adults completed the survey. Information was collected on physical activity levels across four life domains (home, work, active transportation and sport), and several health and wellness variables (smoking, alcohol consumption, healthy eating habits, perceived health and happiness and self-reported Body Mass Index). Frequency tests, t-tests and one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) were used to interrogate the data and investigate significant differences and relationships, with binary regression analyses then used to explore the influence of socio-demographic and health and wellness variables. In addition, analyses were conducted to determine whether or not physical activity contributed significantly to perceived health and happiness. Results: The results of the survey showed that overall 34.5% of Northern Ireland's adult population achieved the levels of physical activity as recommended by the Chief Medical Officer (i.e. at least moderate intensity activities for at least 30 minutes on at least five days per week). The most important correlate of physical activity, including sport participation, was age. In terms of health and wellness, a significant positive relationship was found between healthy eating, physical activity and happiness. However, a significant positive relationship was also found between smoking and being sufficiently active. Only 5.9% of adult population in Northern Ireland were considered to be model citizens, and there is strong evidence from the survey to suggest that a number of mariginalised communities have failed to engage with physical activity initiatives to date. These issues present considerable challenges for those tasked with policy development. Sport itself also continues to be stratified, by variables including socio-economic status, with the higher socio-economic classes (social class A, B, Cl and C2) and those with a higher education (University Degree) being more highly to be represented within the sporting community.Conclusions: Overall, the research reinforces the need to employ sophisticated measures of physical activity across all life domains in order to fully explore complex relationships between activity and wellness. While many findings simply complement the existing literature, a number of interesting and previously unexplored relationships were also established that have significant implications for future policy and the targeting of health campaigns towards specific at-risk populations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2013.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:21
Last Modified: 26 May 2018 17:58
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20178

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