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Table 4 Main reasons walkers joined/still participate in Heart Foundation Walking by yeara

From: How to get a nation walking: reach, retention, participant characteristics and program implications of Heart Foundation Walking, a nationwide Australian community-based walking program

  2010 (n = 1984) 2011 (n = 2796) 2012 (n = 3585) 2015 (n = 1601)
All Female Male All Female Male All Female Male
Main reasons JOINED (%)b
 To manage my weight 45.4 53.4 53.9 52.1 50.8 50.6 51.1 46.7 47.7 42.8
 To meet new people 48.8 55.4 56.7 50.4 59.0 60.7 52.8 62.2 63.6 56.6
 To improve my fitness 76.8 85.8 86.0 84.6 82.2 82.7 81.0 81.0 81.7 78.3
 To have time out from other commitments (at 2010 this was phrased as “to have time to myself”) 8.3 19.9 21.2 14.6 20.4 21.5 15.6 17.4 18.5 13.1
 To look and feel good 44.7 39.0 40.9 31.8 33.8 35.3 27.4 28.7 29.9 24.2
 To improve my health 67.1 79.9 79.4 81.9 81.9 81.5 83.2 80.2 79.4 83.5
 To relieve and manage stress 19.3 29.8 32.0 21.1 29.9 31.6 22.9 29.0 30.9 21.4
 For fun / enjoyment 45.8 60.4 61.7 55.6 57.2 58.1 53.6 59.1 60.6 53.5
 To have more energy 33.2 42.2 44.3 33.3 38.9 40.9 31.5 35.5 38.5 23.9
 Because a doctor / health professional recommended me 8.3 13.7 12.0 19.8 12.3 11.0 16.4 8.8 8.1 11.6
 To balance other things I do (e.g. over-indulgence) 4.8 11.9 11.5 13.2 10.8 10.8 10.5 8.1 7.9 8.9
 To spend time with others 41.1 46.6 48.4 39.5 42.7 43.6 39.3 41.6 42.4 38.5
 Other 6.8 2.6 2.7 2.1 3.7 3.7 3.7 4.7 4.6 5.2
 Unsure 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.4 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.4 0.3 0.6
Main reasons STILL PARTICIPATINGc (Not asked in 2010) (%)
 Social aspect 61.4 64.2 51.2 56.7 58.7 49.8 73.4 75.9 64.4
 Fitness / exercise 54.7 54.9 54.9 53.5 54.1 52.0 55.0 53.7 59.5
 Health 25.2 25.1 23.8 26.4 24.9 31.5 21.5 21.0 23.2
 Wellbeing 2.7 2.9 1.4 7.1 7.0 6.8 2.0 1.9 2.5
 Manage weight / weight loss 6.7 6.5 6.9 5.1 5.3 3.9 2.5 2.2 3.2
 Support / motivation 9.0 9.2 8.6 10.0 10.8 7.3 12.3 13.4 8.5
 Walking locations and condition (e.g. safe, weather) 7.3 7.1 7.9 6.8 7.7 3.8 7.8 8.6 4.9
 Enjoyment 12.0 12.9 8.6 21.6 22.8 17.0 12.3 13.1 9.5
 Other 6.7 6.7 7.2 2.6 2.4 3.4 7.9 7.5 9.2
  1. aTable indicates the numbers included in each set of analyses
  2. bPercentages reflect numbers reporting each reason; these do not sum to 100% since multiple reasons could be provided
  3. cOpen-ended question with key responses coded into categories; again these do not sum to 100% since multiple reasons could be provided