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Explaining why some New Zealanders are inactive

29 January 2004 Media Statement

Explaining why some New Zealanders are inactive

Nearly 1.3 million New Zealanders are insufficiently active and a new study released today offers unprecedented insight into why, according to Sport and Recreation Minister Trevor Mallard.

The SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) study, Obstacles to Action: A Study of New Zealanders’ Physical Activity and Nutrition, identifies six distinct types of inactive people with particular behavioural needs, motivations and trigger points. These are:
1. Others Oriented
2. Support Seekers
3. I’m OK Thanks
4. Go Away – It’s Not For Me
5. Busy & Stressed
6. Why Not Then?

Trevor Mallard said the research is significant and timely with obesity levels increasing and physical activity levels wavering but the good news is that priority can now be given to targeting people in the first two groups where the most progress is likely.

"SPARC can now develop effective, targeted strategies to help these New Zealanders overcome their obstacles to action and increase their physical activity, health and self-esteem," Trevor Mallard said.

“Our goal is to ensure New Zealand is the most active nation in the world. It is essential that we continually strive to understand and reach those that are struggling to be physically active and healthy. SPARC is to be applauded for this innovative research and for providing solid leadership in the fight against obesity and inactivity."

The study is based on the findings of a joint SPARC / Cancer Society survey of over 8000 New Zealanders about physical activity, nutrition, community facilities, obesity and sources of health information.

SPARC will be making the survey data available to organisations that are seeking ways to make our nation more physically active and healthier.

Obstacles to Action will be available at: www.sparc.org.nz from 30 January.

ENDS

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