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How are different levels of knowledge about physical activity associated with physical activity behaviour in Australian adults?

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. People with knowledge of the benefits of physical activity tend to be more active; however, such knowledge is typically operationalized as a basic understanding that physical activity is ‘good’ for health. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether there are differences in how detailed a person’s knowledge is about the benefits of physical activity. Participants (N = 615) completed an online survey to measure their current physical activity behaviour, as well as their level of knowledge of the benefits and risks of physical (in)activity. The majority of participants (99.6%) strongly agreed that physical activity is good for health, however on average, participants only identified 13.8 out of 22 diseases associated with physical inactivity and over half of participants (55.6%) could not identify how much physical activity is recommended for health benefits. Furthermore, 45% of the participants overestimated, 9% underestimated and 27% did not know the increased risk of disease resulting from inactivity as indicated by the Australian Department of Health. Participants were significantly more active when they correctly identified more diseases associated with physical inactivity and when they overestimated the risks associated with inactivity. Therefore, health promotion initiatives should increase knowledge of the types of diseases associated with inactivity. Low knowledge of physical activity guidelines suggest they should be promoted more, as this knowledge provides guidance on frequency, types and duration of physical activity needed for health. © 2018 Fredriksson et al.

History

Volume

13

Issue

11

Start Page

1

End Page

10

Number of Pages

10

eISSN

1932-6203

Publisher

Public Library of Science, US

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Acceptance Date

23/10/2018

Author Research Institute

Appleton Institute

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

PLoS ONE

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