Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Social & General Studies

First Advisor

Ms. Joan Dineen


This research project aims to establish current levels of participation in physical activity amongst the adult population of the Mallow Urban District Council (UDC) area. Using an adaptation of The Scottish Physical Activity Questionnaire (SPAQ) (Lowther et al, 1999) used by the Health Education Bureau for Scotland (HEBS) an attempt will be made to establish the respondents’ readiness for change in relation to physical activity participation. This research methodology is new to Ireland but has been used successfully by the HEBS, (Lowther et al, 1999).

The objectives of this work are to:

1. Establish current levels of participation in physical activity of adults in Mallow (UDC area)

2. Identify the group’s readiness for change with regard to physical activity

3. Make recommendations on how best the populations physical activity needs may be met, which in turn may be used to inform policy on leisure provision for the population.

The project aims to address two main questions:

1. What percentage of the adult population in the Mallow UDC Area meets recommended physical activity levels as set out by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM, 2000)?

2. What is the non-exercising respondents’ readiness for change with regard to physical activity participation, using Prochaska & DiClemente’s Stages of Change Model? (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984)

Research Methodologies: Cluster sampling will be utilised, using the Census Data published in 1996 (Central Statistics Office, 1996), four variables will be used to stratify the sample (place of residence, age, sex and social class).

Summary of Results:

The study found that a significant proportion of the respondents (n = 101, 94%) recalled physical activity that was sufficient to meet recommended guidelines (American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 2000). Furthermore, across all strata there was a very poor correlation between recalled physical activity levels and self-selected stage of change, (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984)

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