Addressing the social determinants of inequities in physical activity and sedentary behaviours

Kylie Ball, Alison Carver, Katherine Downing, Michelle Jackson, Kerryn O'Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Participation in both physical activity and sedentary behaviours follow a social gradient, such that those who are more advantaged are more likely to be regularly physically active, less likely to be sedentary, and less likely to experience the adverse health outcomes associated with inactive lifestyles than their less advantaged peers. The aim of this paper is to provide, in a format that will support policymakers and practitioners, an overview of the current evidence base and highlight promising approaches for promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviours equitably at each level of 'Fair Foundations: The VicHealth framework for health equity'. A rapid review was undertaken in February-April 2014. Electronic databases (Medline, PsychINFO, SportsDISCUS, CINAHL, Scopus, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Global Health and Embase) were searched using a pre-defined search strategy and grey literature searches of websites of key relevant organizations were undertaken. The majority of included studies focussed on approaches targeting behaviour change at the individual level, with fewer focussing on daily living conditions or broader socioeconomic, political and cultural contexts. While many gaps in the evidence base remain, particularly in relation to reducing sedentary behaviour, promising approaches for promoting physical activity equitably across the three levels of the Fair Foundations framework include: community-wide approaches; support for local and state governments to develop policies and practices; neighbourhood designs (including parks) that are conducive to physical activity; investment in early childhood interventions; school programmes; peer-or group-based programmes; and targeted motivational, cognitive-behavioural, and/or mediated individual-level approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)ii8-ii19
JournalHealth Promotion International
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Addressing the social determinants of inequities in physical activity and sedentary behaviours'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this