A new study has shown that mothers in higher income areas are more active than those in lower socio-economic areas.

The Brisbane mums were tracked by a “check-in” system while using social media networks.

Alicia Bolton reports.


The QUT study – believed to be the first of its kind in Australia – used social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Four-Square along with Google Earth to conduct its research.

The health habits of one hundred mothers from two differing suburbs – Bardon in the leafy west and Inala in the south-west were tracked over a week.

Dr Julie-Anne Carroll, QUT Public Health Lecturer: “We set out to do our study to find out why there are difference in physical activity levels between higher and lower socio-economic suburbs socio-economic suburbs.”

The study found mums in higher income areas lead more active lifestyles.

Vox 1: “With the chances that you get around here you’re gonna be a lot more active and have a lot more things to do.”

Vox 2: “More time, in that a lot of mums I know that live in those sorts of areas don’t necessarily have to work and they have more time to devote to getting out.”

Vox 3: “The money, I think money is a huge indicator.”

Mothers in Bardon managed to walk, cycle and use public transport twice as often as mums in Inala.

Google Maps show both suburbs have similar facilities, but mothers in Inala disagree.

Vox 4: “It’s very poor, there’s nothing really here for the young to do in the area. They need to step it up a lot. There used to be pools and skating rinks down the road. They’re derelict buildings now.”

Vox 5: “The nicer areas have nicer parks and better facilities for families and children.”

It’s hoped the results from this survey will help town planners, councils and health professionals to work on improving these statistics.

Dr Julie-Anne Carroll, QUT Public Health Lecturer: “Increasing the maintenance, improving the play ground areas for children. Whether its having security around the place or whether its just investing in funding to go and maintain and improve local areas.”

Alicia Bolton, QUT News.