Motivating individuals to actively engage in physical activity due to its beneficial health effects has been an integral part of Scotland's health policy agenda. The current Scottish guidelines recommend individuals participate in physical activity of moderate vigour for 30 min at least five times per week. For an individual contemplating the recommendation, decisions have to be made in regard of participation, intensity, duration and multiplicity. For the policy maker, understanding the determinants of each decision will assist in designing an intervention to effect the recommended policy. With secondary data sourced from the 2003 Scottish Health Survey (SHeS) we statistically model the combined decisions process, employing a copula approach to model specification. In taking this approach the model flexibly accounts for any statistical associations that may exist between the component decisions. Thus, we model the endogenous relationship between the decision of individuals to participate in sporting activities and, amongst those who participate, the duration of time spent undertaking their chosen activities. The main focus is to establish whether dependence exists between the two random variables assuming the vigour with which sporting activity is performed to be independent of the participation and duration decision. We allow for a variety of controls including demographic factors such as age and gender, economic factors such as income and educational attainment, lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, healthy eating and medical history. We use the model to compare the effect of interventions designed to increase the vigour with which individuals undertake their sport, relating it to obesity as a health outcome.
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Eberth, B., & Smith, M. D. (2010). Modelling the participation decision and duration of sporting activity in Scotland. Economic Modelling, 27(4), 822-834. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econmod.2009.10.003