Gender, physical activity and fear: women, exercise and the great outdoors

Kilgour, Lindsey and Parker, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0001-6842-3067 (2013) Gender, physical activity and fear: women, exercise and the great outdoors. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 5 (1). pp. 43-57. doi:10.1080/2159676X.2012.718619

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The discrepancy between the physical activity (PA) participation levels of men and women is well documented. Indeed, in the UK at least, women’s levels of inactivity are a serious concern, particularly given the effects of inactivity on long-term health. With recent shifts in the UK public health rhetoric recommending the attainment of daily PA levels via outdoor physical activity modes, such as walking and cycling, this paper seeks to explore the possible implications of such policy change on women’s PA participation and, specifically, the potential for gender-related barriers to be reduced. The paper features an empirical analysis of PA participation patterns among a sample of female respondents from a University in the South West of England. Data were collected via survey (n = 131, employees, n = 57, students: n = 74) and follow-up group and individual interviews (n = 45, employees: n = 25, students: n = 20). Findings acknowledge the various and diverse experiences of women with regards to social and cultural aspects of fear and risk and how this shapes PA participation. Specifically, the complex relationships women share with outdoor space are uncovered, and how access to, and patterns of exercise are influenced as a consequence. The paper concludes by reaffirming the need for links between public and personal health, well-being and the environment to be integral to the development of future policy and practice, whilst calling for further research to be carried out with different population groups across more varied geographical landscapes.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. women, physical activity, health, well-being, space, geographical environment
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 11:27
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10

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