Victoria University

'...So Yeah, You Do What You Can ...': Exploring the Barriers to Women's Opportunities for Physical Activity

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dc.contributor.advisor Davidson, Lee Northcott, Marilyn Colleen 2009-11-18T00:57:50Z 2009-11-18T00:57:50Z 2009 2009 2009
dc.description.abstract This research was prompted by the Sport and Recreation New Zealand (SPARC) survey study Obstacles to Action: A study of New Zealanders Physical Activity and Nutrition 2006. The study found a segment of respondents who were too busy and too stressed to take part in physical activity with any regularity, 67% were women. This finding invites closer examination of the kinds of barriers that keep women from having opportunities for physical activity: Why is it difficult for women in the 'Busy and Stressed' segment to be able to participate in physical activity? Many studies of physical activity are conducted from a health perspective examined as a population measure assessed in terms of frequency, intensity and duration, and fail to consider the multiple influences that shape women's physical activity decisions. Missing from the literature so far has been a comprehensive look at the factors affecting women's participation in physical activity from the context of their daily lives. This thesis draws on key literature from feminism, leisure studies and psychology and looks specifically at the social and personal context that lies behind women's decision-making about participating in physical activity. My methodology was based in Feminism and guided by Ecological Theory. Data collected from three focus group discussions centered on personal, social and environmental themes engaged the participants in sharing experiences that influence their opportunities for physical activity. Nineteen women between the ages of 25 and 49 participated in the focus groups. Most of them were in situations where they were juggling partners, work, study, and children and therefore were similar to SPARC's busy and stressed segment, and were not getting the recommended amount of physical activity. Results show that while the women's attitudes and experiences of physical activity were very positive, and they mainly had good levels of support, there was little time or opportunity to be able to participate in physical activity with any regularity. Women continue to be over represented as inactive in physical activity research, however there is less research at present that includes the voices of women about the trade-offs, uncertainties and negotiations involved in their opportunities to be physically active. This study addresses what I see as a significant gap in the research. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Women's health en_NZ
dc.subject Health behavior en_NZ
dc.subject Physical fitness for women en_NZ
dc.subject Exercise for women en_NZ
dc.title '...So Yeah, You Do What You Can ...': Exploring the Barriers to Women's Opportunities for Physical Activity en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of Social and Cultural Studies en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 379901 Gender Specific Studies en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 321404 Sport and Exercise Psychology en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.marsden 321216 Health Promotion en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Research Masters Thesis en_NZ Social Science Research en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Master's en_NZ Master of Arts (Applied) en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified en_NZ

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