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

Ramirez Varela, Andrea and Nino Cruz, Gloria Isabel and Hallal, Pedro and Blumenberg, Cauane and da Silva, Shana Ginar and Salvo, Deborah and Martins, Rafaela and Cordeiro da Silva, Bruna Goncalves and Resendiz, Eugen and Catalina del Portillo, Maria and Monteiro, Luciana Zaranza and Khoo Phaik Lin, Selina and Chong, Kar Hau and da Silva, Marcelo Cozzensa and Mannocci, Alice and Ding, Ding and Pratt, Michael (2021) Global, regional, and national trends and patterns in physical activity research since 1950: A systematic review. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 18 (1). ISSN 1479-5868, DOI

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BackgroundNational, regional and global scientific production and research capacity for physical activity - PA may contribute to improving public health PA policies and programs. There is an uneven distribution of research productivity by region and country income group, where countries with the highest burden of non-communicable diseases attributable to physical inactivity having low research productivity. A first step towards improving global research capacity is to objectively quantify patterns, trends, and gaps in PA research. This study describes national, regional and global trends and patterns of PA research from 1950 to 2019.MethodsA systematic review using searches in PubMed, SCOPUS and ISI Web of Knowledge databases was conducted in August 2017 and updated between January and May 2020. The review was registered at the PROSPERO database number CRD42017070153. PA publications per 100,000 inhabitants per country was the main variable of interest. Descriptive and time-trend analyses were conducted in STATA version 16.0.ResultsThe search retrieved 555,468 articles of which 75,756 were duplicates, leaving 479,712 eligible articles. After reviewing inclusion and exclusion criteria, 23,860 were eligible for data extraction. Eighty-one percent of countries (n=176) had at least one PA publication. The overall worldwide publication rate in the PA field was 0.46 articles per 100,000 inhabitants. Europe had the highest rate (1.44 articles per 100,000 inhabitants) and South East Asia had the lowest (0.04 articles per 100,000 inhabitants). A more than a 50-fold difference in publications per 100,000 inhabitants was identified between high and low-income countries. The least productive and poorest regions have rates resembling previous decades of the most productive and the richest.ConclusionThis study showed an increasing number of publications over the last 60years with a growing number of disciplines and research methods over time. However, striking inequities were revealed and the knowledge gap across geographic regions and by country income groups was substantial over time. The need for regular global surveillance of PA research, particularly in countries with the largest data gaps is clear. A focus on the public health impact and global equity of research will be an important contribution to making the world more active.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Federal University of Pelotas UFPel in Brazil, University of California San Diego UCSD in USA, Los Andes University in Colombia
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical activity;Research;Epidemiology;PPublic health; Surveillance
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Centre for Sports & Exercise Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2022 08:08
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 08:08

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