Data from: How are different levels of knowledge about physical activity associated with physical activity behaviour in Australian adults?
Fredriksson, Sara Veronica et al. (2018), Data from: How are different levels of knowledge about physical activity associated with physical activity behaviour in Australian adults?, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.6gn844r
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.