‘The Class is Always Cheaper on the Other Side’: Socioeconomic discrepancies in the cost of using recreational facilities
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While the socioeconomic gradient associated with physical activity is well mapped, the affordability of accessing facilities has been unexplored relative to other participation barriers. This study investigated socioeconomic differences in access to, and the cost of participating in, a range of popular recreational activities. Data from surveys of all formal facilities in metropolitan Perth was analysed. The study found that it was generally more expensive to participate in facility-based activities in low socioeconomic areas than in more advantaged areas. In no instances was the cost of undertaking activities substantially lower in low socioeconomic areas. These findings suggest that pricing structures further disadvantage people living in low socioeconomic areas — the same people that are under-represented in achieving recommended levels of physical activity.
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