Australian Health Review Australian Health Review Society
Journal of the Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

Supportive environments for physical activity and the local government agenda: a South Australian example

Colin Macdougall, Cheryl Wright and Rick Atkinson

Australian Health Review 25(2) 175 - 181
Published: 2002


In the promotion of moderate physical activity it is increasingly argued that a supportive physical environment is a key factor, and that local government is ideally placed to play an important role. This study reports on the factors that led one local government to take such a leading role. A semi-structured interview was conducted to find out why a chief executive officer of a local government decided that the creation of supportive environments for physical activity was the core business of council. The results show that key ingredients were that local government should take a strategic rather than an operational focus on the issue, that there should be open organisational structures to allow the various functions of local government to work together, and that there must be appropriate leadership. The findings suggest ways for engaging local government as a key partner in promoting supportive environments that are consistent withliterature on policy, organisational structure and leadership theory.

© AHHA 2002

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