Prevalence of stages of change for physical activity in rural, suburban and inner-city communities

J Community Health. 1997 Feb;22(1):1-13. doi: 10.1023/a:1025161522683.


This study documented the differing prevalence rates for stages of change for physical activity across rural, suburban and inner city communities using survey methods and controlling for education, gender and disease status. Respondents (n = 4768) were participants in the baseline survey for the evaluation of the Québec Heart Health Demonstration Project, a health promotion program implemented in various communities throughout the province of Québec. A total of 2639 female and 2087 male parents answered a questionnaire they received from their grade 4 to grade 6 children. The questionnaire dealt with demographic information, health-related behaviors, and intentions for these behaviors. The response rates were 90%, 77% and 70% in the rural, suburban and inner city communities respectively. Results showed that prevalence rates differed significantly between communities with rural communities having the highest rates of readiness for physical activity in comparison to suburban and inner city communities. These findings suggest that above and beyond individual difference variables, structural components such as type of community are related to people's readiness for physical activity involvement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Quebec
  • Residence Characteristics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Suburban Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data