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Table 3 Physical activity research characteristics by world region and income classification, 1950–2016

From: Global, regional, and national trends and patterns in physical activity research since 1950: a systematic review

  World regiona n(%) Income groupa n(%)
  Africa (AFRO) Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) Europe (EURO) South East Asia (SEARO) The Americas and the Caribbean (PAHO) Western Pacific (WPRO) High Income (HI) Upper middle income (UMI) Lower middle income (LMI) Low income (LI)
Total number of articles (n = 23,860) 514 524 8370 639 10,321 3492 19,144 3534 915 267
Study design
 Observational 475 (92.4) 447 (85.3) 6866 (82.0) 535 (83.7) 8505 (82.4) 2851 (81.6) 15,649 (81.7) 2987 (84.5) 791 (86.5) 252 (94.4)
 Experimental 39 (7.6) 77 (14.7) 1504 (18.0) 104 (16.3) 1816 (17.6) 641 (18.4) 3495 (18.3) 547 (15.5) 124 (13.6) 15 (5.6)
Study’s population age group
 Adult population > =18 years < 60 years 79 (15.4) 117 (22.3) 1203 (14.4) 96 (15.0) 1678 (16.3) 370 (10.6) 2717 (14.2) 637 (18.0) 157 (17.2) 32 (12.0)
 Children and adolescents < 18 years 143 (27.8) 119 (22.7) 2509 (30.0) 125 (19.6) 2528 (24.5) 857 (24.5) 5146 (26.9) 867 (24.5) 209 (22.8) 59 (22.1)
 Specific for older adults population > =60 years 15 (2.9) 13 (2.5) 809 (9.7) 44 (6.9) 885 (8.6) 418 (12.0) 1800 (9.4) 339 (9.6) 34 (3.7) 11 (4.1)
 More than one age group 268 (52.1) 262 (50.0) 3660 (43.7) 368 (57.6) 5052 (49.0) 1792 (51.3) 9104 (47.6) 1638 (46.4) 499 (54.5) 161 (60.3)
 Studies including pregnant women 10 (2.0) 12 (2.3) 152 (1.8) 10 (1.6) 206 (2.0) 61 (1.8) 352 (1.8) 74 (2.1) 21 (2.3) 4 (1.5)
Study type classification
 Prevalence, measurement & trends 232 (45.1) 167 (31.9) 3068 (36.7) 186 (29.1) 3316 (32.1) 802 (23.0) 6112 (31.9) 1174 (33.2) 357 (39.0) 128 (47.9)
 Correlates & determinants 125 (24.3) 147 (28.1) 1337 (16.0) 144 (22.5) 2609 (25.3) 1174 (33.6) 4367 (22.8) 910 (25.8) 220 (24.0) 39 (14.6)
 Health consequences 109 (21.2) 158 (30.2) 3033 (36.2) 270 (42.3) 3036 (29.4) 1011 (29.0) 6166 (32.2) 1098 (31.1) 266 (29.1) 87 (32.6)
 Interventions 30 (5.8) 38 (7.3) 619 (7.4) 23 (3.6) 890 (8.6) 399 (11.4) 1724 (9.0) 220 (6.2) 46 (5.0) 9 (3.4)
 Policy 18 (3.5) 14 (2.7) 313 (3.7) 16 (2.5) 470 (4.6) 106 (3.0) 775 (4.1) 132 (3.7) 26 (2.8) 4 (1.5)
Study topic
 Cardiovascular disease 82 (16.0) 81 (15.5) 1122 (13.4) 130 (20.3) 1221 (11.8) 301 (8.6) 2237 (11.7 481 (13.6) 164 (18.0) 55 (20.6)
 Cancer 10 (2.0) 18 (3.4) 330 (3.9) 15 (2.4) 539 (5.2) 128 (3.7) 930 (4.9) 80 (2.3) 22 (2.4) 8 (3.0)
 Mental health and illness 23 (4.5) 16 (3.1) 482 (5.8) 47 (7.4) 528 (5.1) 219 (6.3) 1079 (5.6) 170 (4.8) 42 (4.6) 24 (9.0)
 Earth/environmental/atmospheric sciences 1 (0.2) 3 (0.6) 36 (0.4) 1 (0.2) 38 (0.4) 17 (0.5) 84 (0.4) 11 (0.3) 1 (0.1) 0 (0.0)
 Built and natural environment 18 (3.5) 24 (4.6) 433 (5.2) 24 (3.8) 802 (7.8) 346 (9.9) 1370 (7.2) 239 (6.8) 34 (3.7) 4 (1.5)
 Sedentary time (different than TV time only) 9 (1.8) 10 (1.9) 196 (2.3) 14 (2.2) 228 (2.2) 78 (2.2) 386 (2.0) 131 (3.7) 16 (1.8) 2 (0.8)
 Population with physical disabilities 3 (0.6) 3 (0.6) 185 (2.2) 3 (0.5) 201 (2.0) 39 (1.1) 390 (2.0) 41 (1.2) 1 (0.1) 2 (0.8)
 Nutrition 72 (14.0) 59 (11.3) 874 (10.4) 46 (7.2) 1029 (10.0) 257 (7.4) 1683 (8.8) 521 (14.7) 97 (10.6) 36 (13.5)
 Methods 46 (9.0) 15 (2.9) 654 (7.8) 24 (3.8) 915 (8.9) 400 (11.5) 1734 (9.1) 259 (7.3) 54 (5.9) 7 (2.6)
 International policy documents and recommendations 24 (4.7) 14 (2.7) 322 (3.9) 16 (2.5) 491 (4.8) 135 (3.9) 832 (4.4) 141 (4.0) 25 (2.7) 4 (1.5)
 Healthy lifestyle studies 10 (2.0) 42 (8.0) 307 (3.7) 26 (4.1) 279 (2.7) 151 (4.3) 565 (3.0) 205 (5.8) 38 (4.2) 7 (2.6)
 Other 216 (42.0) 239 (45.6) 3429 (41.0) 293 (45.9) 4050 (39.2) 1421 (40.7) 7854 (41.0) 1255 (35.5) 421 (46.0) 118 (44.2)
 Studies using physical activity objective measures 72 (14.0) 23 (4.4) 1674 (20.0) 39 (6.1) 1752 (17.0) 567 (16.2) 3720 (19.4) 310 (8.8) 80 (8.7) 17 (6.4)
 Study including multiple countries 111 (21.6) 29 (5.5) 1485 (17.7) 77 (12.1) 503 (4.9) 218 (6.2) 1856 (9.7) 386 (10.9) 156 (17.1) 25 (9.4)
  1. a Database search was conducted for the 217 world countries GoPA! list. Population, world region and income group classifications according to the World Bank. United Kingdom was divided in its 4 countries (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)