• Physical activity;
  • trend;
  • prevalence;
  • sufficiently active;
  • Queensland;
  • Australia


Objective: Regular monitoring of population levels of physical activity is an effective way to assess change over time towards meeting public health recommendations. The objective of this study was to determine physical activity trends in Central Queensland over the period 2002 to 2008.

Methods: Data was obtained from the Central Queensland Social Survey (CQSS) conducted annually from 2002 to 2008. A total sample of 8,936 adults aged 18 and over participated in seven cross-sectional surveys. Physical activity was measured using the Active Australia Questionnaire. Binary logistic regression was used to examine trends in sufficient physical activity.

Results: Averaged over all survey years 46.5% of study participants met national physical activity guidelines. A small significant upward trend was found for meeting physical activity recommendations across all years (OR=1.03; 95%CI=1.01–1.05), indicating that the odds of meeting the guidelines increased by an average of 3% per year from 2002 to 2008. Slightly more men than women met the activity guidelines (ns); however a significant positive trend in achieving sufficient activity levels was present in women only (4%).

Conclusions and Implications: Although an increasing trend for sufficient physical activity was observed, overall physical activity levels in Central Queensland remain suboptimal and more efforts to increase physical activity are needed. The gender differences in physical activity trends indicate that men and women might need to be targeted differently in health promotion messages. The continuous monitoring of population levels of physical activity in Australia, which allow both state specific and international comparisons, is needed.