WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Interventions to promote physical activity (PA) among adults have no effect in rural communities, according to a review published online April 11 in Obesity Reviews.
Verity Cleland, Ph.D., from the University of Tasmania in Australia, and colleagues reviewed published evidence of the effectiveness of interventions to increase PA and/or decrease sedentary behavior (SB) among rural adults. Data from 13 studies (4,848 participants) were included in the qualitative synthesis and data from 12 studies (4,820 participants) were included in the meta-analysis.
All studies included interventions to increase PA. The researchers found that there was no effect on PA (standardized mean difference [SMD], 0.11; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], −0.04 to 0.25) or SB (SMD, 0.07; 95 percent CI, −0.33 to 0.20) overall. Effects were seen in favor of the intervention in PA subgroup analysis for studies employing objective outcome measures (SMD, 0.65; 95 percent CI, 0.30 to 1.00), while there were no effects in favor in studies using self-reported measures (SMD, 0.00; 95 percent CI, −0.11 to 0.10).
“This review highlights significant gaps in our understanding of how best to promote PA and reduce SB among rural adults,” the authors write. “The absence of interventions to decrease SB is of concern, with immediate action required to address this large knowledge gap.”
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