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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(4), 372; doi:10.3390/ijerph14040372

Are Structural Changes in Polish Rural Areas Fostering Leisure-Time Physical Activity?

1
Collegium of World Economy, Warsaw School of Economics, al. Niepodległości 162, 02-554 Warszawa, Poland
2
Collegium of Economic Analysis, Warsaw School of Economics, al. Niepodległości 162, 02-554 Warszawa, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Li Ming Wen
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 24 March 2017 / Accepted: 29 March 2017 / Published: 1 April 2017
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Abstract

Background: In this study, we analyze the determinants of leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) of farmers and non-farmers living in rural areas. Methods: We use statistical analysis to describe urban and rural populations, as well as econometric techniques (Heckman regressions and propensity score matching) to assess the role of rural lifestyle in physical activity. Results: World Health Organization (WHO) pro-health PA (physical activity) recommendations are not met by 66% of farmers and 49% of other dwellers in rural areas. Approximately two thirds of them are completely inactive. Farmers enjoy vigorous PA (VPA), cycling and recreational walking less than their non-farming counterparts and are 46% less likely to be active than them; however the difference disappears when they take up an activity. The amount of PA is negatively correlated with age, but tends to increase for older people compared to those in middle age. Women are 6%–7% less active than men, yet the odds of being active at all are higher for women than for men. Household size is negatively correlated with LTPA. Conclusion: Considering the structural changes, rural area dwellers, especially farmers, require public intervention aimed at increasing their awareness of the advantages of LTPA. View Full-Text
Keywords: leisure-time physical activity; farmers; rural areas; Poland; propensity score matching; Heckman selection modelling leisure-time physical activity; farmers; rural areas; Poland; propensity score matching; Heckman selection modelling
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Biernat, E.; Bartkiewicz, P.; Buchholtz, S. Are Structural Changes in Polish Rural Areas Fostering Leisure-Time Physical Activity? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 372.

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