(Unsplash)

Canadians believe physical inactivity is nearly as bad as smoking: study

UBC researchers look at the ‘social climate’ surrounding physical inactivity

More than half of Canadians think not being active is a worrying trend, a study from the University of B.C. suggests.

The study of 2,500 Canadians, published this week in the journal BMC Public Health, is the first to look at the “social climate”— society’s feelings, attitudes, beliefs and opinions — surrounding physical inactivity, researchers said.

Fifty-five per cent of people think physical inactivity is a “serious public health concern,” compared to the 58 per cent worried about unhealthy diets and 57 per cent concerned about tobacco use.

READ MORE: Make phys. ed. a priority to avoid ‘embarrassing’ gym classes, say experts

Only 10 per cent of kids, and 20 per cent of adults, are meeting current guidelines for physical activity.

It’s important to measure what people think about physical inactivity, researchers said, because seeing how the public views an issue is key to determining how to fix it.

Just 21 per cent of those surveyed believed physical inactivity was a personal issue, while 66 per cent thought it was both a public and private health matter.

“Many recognize the importance of thinking beyond the individual, so we have an interesting platform for considering innovative policies at the national, provincial and territorial levels,” said Guy Faulkner, UBC kinesiology professor and senior study author.

Faulkner drew parallels between physical inactivity and smoking, saying society’s more negative perceptions of smoking allowed government to bring in regulations.

“Taking legislative action — for example, banning smoking in bars — became more acceptable when there were appropriate levels of public support to move forward with those types of actions,” Faulkner said.

Following up on the benchmark established by this study, researchers hope to conduct the survey again in 2025 to see if attitudes have changed.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chefs for White Rock’s Pier raises $100k

Event featured 12 chefs from Semiahmoo Peninsula

WestCoast Big Band Festival on the move from Surrey to Vancouver

‘It’s time for our festival to go to the next level,’ organizer says of mid-November event

‘Spooktacular Newton’ to close down part of 137th Street this year

Train rides, face-painting, dancers and more at annual Halloween event hosted by Newton BIA

Surrey family donates $125K to hospital’s children’s centre, with a 55-day fundraising campaign

Bob Hans says the initiative is meant to coincide with the 550th birthday celebrations of Guru Nanak

Surrey council awards contract to build new Hawthorne Park waterpark, washrooms

Surrey council approved a $2.26M contract on Monday (Sept. 16)

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Photos surface of Conservative candidate at B.C. event with people in blackface

The controversial “Black Peter” character has been a feature at Sinterklaas celebrations

B.C. Liberal leader says private sector development will help housing affordability

Andrew Wilkenson spoke in Kelowna during a real estate conference

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

Murder charges laid after body pulled from Fraser River ID’ed as missing man

Accused also face one count each of attempted murder in connection with Rudy Johnson Bridge incident

Unionized workers launch ‘open-ended strike’ at three Vancouver hotels

Workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront walked out

B.C. salmon farm inspection deal reached with Indigenous people

Monitoring to determine if any Broughton region farms stay open

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

Most Read

l -->