Participation in regular vigorous physical activity could confer health benefits additional to those derived from moderate-intensity physical activities that are currently the focus of public health strategies.
Sociodemographic differences in reported participation in vigorous sporting and fitness activities over the past 2 weeks were examined using cross-sectional data from an Australian urban population sample.
Participation at least once in any form of vigorous physical activity and regular participation (six or more sessions) both decreased across successive age groups and from high to low levels of education. The most frequently reported types of vigorous physical activity were cycling (13.3%), jogging (10.1%), swimming (8.4%) for men; and swimming (8.9%), cycling (8.8%) and aerobics (8.6%) for women.
Rates of regular participation in vigorous activities were low. Interventions might focus on ways to encourage younger adults to engage more regularly in these activities and to maintain participation through the lifespan.
Leslie, Cerin, and Owen are with the Cancer Prevention Research Centre, School of Population Health, University of Queensland, Herston QLD 4005 Australia. Gore is with the Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen ACT 2616 Australia. St. George is with the Dept of Biomedical Science, University of Wollongong, Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia. Bauman is with the Centre for Physical Activity and Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2050 Australia.