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A test of how Australian adults allocate time for physical activity
journal contributionposted on 2018-03-14, 00:00 authored by Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, R Johnston, Jessica PatersonJessica Paterson, CE Short, Stephanie SchoeppeStephanie Schoeppe, Corneel VandelanotteCorneel Vandelanotte
The most common reported barrier to physical activity is a lack of sufficient time. Just like most resources in economics are finite, so too is time within a day. We utilized a time-utility model to better understand how people are allocating time for physical activity. Additionally, we tested whether the allocation of physical activity time impacts people's perception of "lack of time" as a barrier for physical activity or their likelihood of being sufficiently physical active. Australian adults (N = 725 participants, 54% men) reported their time use throughout their day, perceived lack of time as a barrier to activity, and physical activity. Cluster analysis and χ(2)-tests were used to test the study research questions. People tended to either be entirely inactive (29%) or active while doing either leisure (18%), occupation (18%), transport (14%), or household (22%) activities. Those who were active during their leisure or transport time were most likely to be sufficiently active. There were no significant differences among clusters in how much people perceived that lack of time was a physical activity barrier. The commonly reported barrier of not having enough time to be active might be a fallacy. Although a lack of time is a commonly reported barrier of physical activity, these findings bring to light that increasing physical activity behavior is not as simple as adding more time to the day.