The Demise of an Australian Physical Activity Alliance

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background: Physical activity health promotion coalitions are uncommon but important for beneficial collective impact on public health. The authors sought to obtain the viewpoints of member organizations of an Australian physical activity alliance, the National Physical Activity Alliance. Methods: The authors conducted an online survey regarding member agenda, commitment, and vision for the alliance. Questions were mostly open ended (eg, “What are the 3 areas of priority related to physical activity that you would like The Alliance to focus on?”). A total of 11 Australian organizations involved in physical activity public health (eg, the nongovernment organization Alzheimer’s Australia and the professional fitness association Fitness Australia). Results: 82% of members responded to the survey. Member programs and goals were diverse and overlapping. There was agreement among members that the main priority area for alliance focus was a national exercise referral scheme. Barriers for members achieving their own goals as well as alliance goals focused on governmental issues, including inadequate government funding for physical activity public health. Conclusions: This novel survey highlights the promise and difficulties of a physical activity coalition, with the difficulties, namely lack of governmental funding, resulting in a stagnation of the alliance’s activities since the study was carried out.

Reynolds is with the Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Santhya is with the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Menzies is with Fitness Australia, Alexandria, NSW, Australia.

Reynolds (rebecca.reynolds@unsw.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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