Men's physical activity and dietary behaviours on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Men's health has been subjected to diverse approaches to research over the past two decades. Much of the literature has focused on specific medical and health issues. Other contributions have focused more broadly on masculinities and its relationship to health. It is arguable that there has not been a lot of attention paid to Australian rural men's health and even less on their understanding of health as it relates to physical activity and dietary behavior. Objectives: To gain a better understanding of these issues this paper provides rich, descriptive qualitative data from men living on Kangaroo Island, which is 13.5 kilometres off the South Australian mainland and is regarded as a rural and remote area. Methods: Qualitative data is used to develop greater understanding of the men's attitudes and behaviours as they relate to physical activity and dietary behaviours. The semistructured interviews and focus groups were conducted with 40 men aged between 23-64. Conclusions: The results indicated that the locality in which the men lived provided them with an excellent opportunity to be physically active and eat fresh, locally produced, foods. However, it was identified that many of the men did not have a comprehensive understanding of health and seemingly displayed low levels of health knowledge. As a result for many of these men, their physical health was left to chance. There was little evidence of any planned health promotion to assist them with making improvements to their nutrition and physical activity levels as they aged. Recommendations and population-based strategies are provided to assist men living in remote rural settings to enhance not only their health ultimately their health knowledge. This will positively impact community health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education Journal
Volume76
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Australia
  • dietary behaviours
  • health promotion
  • men's health
  • physical activity

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