Researchers have recently expressed their concern for the health of Francophones and rural dwellers in Canada. Their levels of physical activity may explain part of the observed differences. However, little is known about the physical activity levels of these 2 groups. The purpose of this study was to assess levels of physical activity among a sample of Francophones and rural dwellers. The study also assessed the associations of various types of physical activity to measures of health status.
A quota-based convenience sample of 256 adults from Northern Ontario was surveyed using the IPAQ and the SF-12.
There were no significant differences in activity levels between language groups (P = .06) or geographical groups (P = .22) on the combined dependent variables based on MANOVA. Leisure-time physical activity scores were consistently associated to better physical component summary scores of the SF-12.
Implications for practice include that leisure-time physical activities have been at the forefront of public health promotion, and our findings support this approach. Further, population specific interventions are indeed important, however, within this Canadian context when identifying target groups one must look beyond sociocultural status or geographical location.
Gauthier, Pong, Snelling, and Young are with the School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Lariviere is with the School of Human Kinetics, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada.