Washington, Feb 14 : When it comes to being physically fit, there is no common approach that influences people or which they follow.
According to a new study, led by Brad Humphreys, an economics professor at the University of Alberta, it was found that when it comes to participation in physical activity, one size does not fit all.
"Our study uncovered some definite trends and preferences when deciding how and if a person wants to be physically active," Humphreys said.
"It is clear that different genders, ethnicities and income levels have very diverse influences and choices when it comes to being physically active," he added.
The study, which analysed a sample of over 275,000 individuals, looked at a wide range of factors, including income, education and ethnicity, that influence whether a person decides to be physically active, as well as their time spent being active.
It also examined the impact of government spending on parks and recreation on an individual's decision to participate in physical activity and sports.
With 57 per cent participation rate, walking was found to be the most common form of physical activity undertaken for exercise.
The findings suggest that participation in walking increases with age, indicating that programs aimed at promoting walking for exercise could appeal to older populations.
"Choosing walking as the main form of physical activity may reflect the relatively low cost of this activity. Walking can be done in almost any setting under almost any condition without needing specialized equipment or facilities," Humphreys said.
"Compared to men, we found that females spent an average of 444 minutes fewer per week doing outdoor recreation, 108 minutes fewer spent on group sports and 74 minutes fewer on individual sports. This can be explained by child-care responsibilities and the fact that women spend almost an hour more on household activities compared to men per week," Humphreys said.
The study is published in Contemporary Economic Policy.