Running out of time? : strategies and perceptions in connection to physical activity

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Publication Other
Title Running out of time? : strategies and perceptions in connection to physical activity
Author(s) Book, Karin
Date 2013
Editor(s) Balagué, Natalia; Torrents, C; Vilanova, A; Cadefau, J; Tarragó, R; Tsolakidis, Elias
English abstract
Introduction Although most people are aware of the health benefits of physical activity, it is not easy to fit it into the busy schedule of everyday life. The knowledge about how adults in the middle of their careers reason about physical activity and develop strategies to be active is surprisingly limited. Therefore, this study aims at increasing the knowledge by answering the following research questions: How, when and where do employed people (in Sweden), age 30-50, find time and space for physical activities? How do these people reason about physical activity and time in everyday life? At an early stage of the study, running stood out as a popular activity among the target population: How could the running trend be explained? Theoretical Departures and Methods The theoretical framework of the project concerns perspectives on time use and perception and strategies for physical activity (see for instance Robinson & Godbey, 2000; Zuzanek, 2004). Physical activity refers to the whole scale from light to intense activities. Methods for gathering empirical material: 550 surveys at three major work places in Malmo, interviews with gym owners regarding training trends, field studies and in-depth interviews with six persons within the target population. Finally, the running trend has been problematized. Results - The majority of full-time employees within knowledge-based sectors has an ambition to be physically active (and a majority is). A high preoccupation with the importance of exercising also results in feelings of pressure and guilt. - Difficulties in finding time for physical activity make individuals develop different strategies to cope with physical activity, such as: preferences for time-efficient and flexible activities, using lunch breaks for gym-session or for walks, exercising early mornings on the way to work, active transports, creating challenges in order to push themselves, etc. - Flexible work hours are considered favourable for being physically active, but also stressful as leisure and work time blend together. - Organizational rather than economic incentives for training by the employer are preferred. - The running trend could be understood in different ways: running as a flexible, accessible and efficient activity, as back to basics, a lifestyle, as pressure and inspiration from social media, as a demand for being challenged, as part of commodification and a product of the event industry, etc. References Robinson, J. & Godbey, G. (2000) Time for Life. The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time. Penn State Press, Pennsylvania State University. Zuzanek, J. (2004) Work, leisure, time pressure and stress. In: Haworth, J.T. & Veal, A.J. (ed.) Work and Leisure. Routledge, London.
Publisher National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (ECSS)
Host/Issue 18th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science : 26th-29th June 2013, Barcelona : book of abstracts;
ISBN 978-84-695-7786-8
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) physical activity
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note 18th annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Barcelona, Spain, 26-29 June, 2013
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