Analysing how physical activity competes: A cross-disciplinary application of the Duplication of Behaviour Law

Amy L. Wilson, Cathy Nguyen, Svetlana Bogomolova, Byron Sharp, Timothy Olds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Despite the ongoing promotion of physical activity, the rates of physical inactivity remain high. Drawing on established methods of analysing consumer behaviour, this study seeks to understand how physical activity competes for finite time in a day - how Exercise and Sport compete with other everyday behaviours, and how engagement in physical activity is shared across Exercise and Sport activities. As targeted efforts are common in physical activity intervention and promotion, the existence of segmentation is also explored. Methods: Time-use recall data (n = 2307 adults) is analysed using the Duplication of Behaviour Law, and tested against expected values, to document what proportion of the population that engage in one activity, also engage in another competing activity. Additionally, a Mean Absolute Deviation approach is used to test for segmentation. Results: The Duplication of Behaviour Law is evident for everyday activities, and Exercise and Sport activities - all activities 'compete' with each other, and the prevalence of the competing activity determines the extent of competition. However, some activities compete more or less than expected, suggesting the combinations of activities that should be used or avoided in promotion efforts. Competition between everyday activities is predictable, and there are no specific activities that are sacrificed to engage in Exercise and Sport. How people share their physical activity across different Exercise and Sport activities is less predictable - Males and younger people (under 20 years) are more likely to engage in Exercise and Sport, and those who engage in Exercise and Sport are slightly more likely to Work and Study. High competition between Team Sports and Non-Team Sports suggests strong preferences for sports of different varieties. Finally, gender and age-based segmentation does not exist for Exercise and Sport relative to other everyday activities; however, segmentation does exist for Team Sports, Games, Active Play and Dance. Conclusions: The Duplication of Behaviour Law demonstrates that population-level patterns of behaviour can yield insight into the competition between different activities, and how engagement in physical activity is shared across different Exercise and Sport activities. Such insights can be used to describe and predict physical activity behaviour and may be used to inform and evaluate promotion and intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Competition
  • Duplication of behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Physical activity
  • Public health

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