(Re)conceptualising physical activity participation as career

Victoria Palmer, James Bowness, Emmanuelle Tulle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Physical activity is increasingly positioned as playing an important role in preventing and mitigating many of the decrements associated with biological ageing. As a result, public health messages encourage older people to remain active in later life. Despite this, physical activity participation rates among older adults are low. This may be in part related to the conventional approach to understanding physical activity participation as a product of motivation. We contend that this approach does not allow for a deeper exploration of the wider structural, historical and discursive contexts in which physical activity participation occurs. Therefore, we propose that physical activity can be reconceptualised as a career. Through a synthesis of findings from four studies exploring physical activity experiences in later life we demonstrate that beginning and maintaining a physical activity career requires a disposition towards physical activity, the legitimation of physically active practices, and dealing with contingencies. In addition, we demonstrate that maintaining a physical activity career requires investment and deliberation to continually adapt physical activity practices within an individual’s own personal biography. As such, we conclude that current strategies to promote physical activity to older adults are unlikely to result in increased levels of participation. To promote physical activity to older adults an understanding of how structural, cultural and historical contexts influence participation is needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing and Society
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Aug 2019

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Beginning of Human Life
Public Health
career
participation
Physical Activity
Participation
legitimation
deliberation
contingency
disposition

Keywords

  • influence participation is needed. Keywords: Career, Physical Activity, Sport, Motivation, Disposition, Ageing

Cite this

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title = "(Re)conceptualising physical activity participation as career",
abstract = "Physical activity is increasingly positioned as playing an important role in preventing and mitigating many of the decrements associated with biological ageing. As a result, public health messages encourage older people to remain active in later life. Despite this, physical activity participation rates among older adults are low. This may be in part related to the conventional approach to understanding physical activity participation as a product of motivation. We contend that this approach does not allow for a deeper exploration of the wider structural, historical and discursive contexts in which physical activity participation occurs. Therefore, we propose that physical activity can be reconceptualised as a career. Through a synthesis of findings from four studies exploring physical activity experiences in later life we demonstrate that beginning and maintaining a physical activity career requires a disposition towards physical activity, the legitimation of physically active practices, and dealing with contingencies. In addition, we demonstrate that maintaining a physical activity career requires investment and deliberation to continually adapt physical activity practices within an individual’s own personal biography. As such, we conclude that current strategies to promote physical activity to older adults are unlikely to result in increased levels of participation. To promote physical activity to older adults an understanding of how structural, cultural and historical contexts influence participation is needed.",
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(Re)conceptualising physical activity participation as career. / Palmer, Victoria; Bowness, James; Tulle, Emmanuelle.

In: Ageing and Society, 15.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - (Re)conceptualising physical activity participation as career

AU - Palmer, Victoria

AU - Bowness, James

AU - Tulle, Emmanuelle

N1 - Acceptance in SAN AAM: no embargo

PY - 2019/8/15

Y1 - 2019/8/15

N2 - Physical activity is increasingly positioned as playing an important role in preventing and mitigating many of the decrements associated with biological ageing. As a result, public health messages encourage older people to remain active in later life. Despite this, physical activity participation rates among older adults are low. This may be in part related to the conventional approach to understanding physical activity participation as a product of motivation. We contend that this approach does not allow for a deeper exploration of the wider structural, historical and discursive contexts in which physical activity participation occurs. Therefore, we propose that physical activity can be reconceptualised as a career. Through a synthesis of findings from four studies exploring physical activity experiences in later life we demonstrate that beginning and maintaining a physical activity career requires a disposition towards physical activity, the legitimation of physically active practices, and dealing with contingencies. In addition, we demonstrate that maintaining a physical activity career requires investment and deliberation to continually adapt physical activity practices within an individual’s own personal biography. As such, we conclude that current strategies to promote physical activity to older adults are unlikely to result in increased levels of participation. To promote physical activity to older adults an understanding of how structural, cultural and historical contexts influence participation is needed.

AB - Physical activity is increasingly positioned as playing an important role in preventing and mitigating many of the decrements associated with biological ageing. As a result, public health messages encourage older people to remain active in later life. Despite this, physical activity participation rates among older adults are low. This may be in part related to the conventional approach to understanding physical activity participation as a product of motivation. We contend that this approach does not allow for a deeper exploration of the wider structural, historical and discursive contexts in which physical activity participation occurs. Therefore, we propose that physical activity can be reconceptualised as a career. Through a synthesis of findings from four studies exploring physical activity experiences in later life we demonstrate that beginning and maintaining a physical activity career requires a disposition towards physical activity, the legitimation of physically active practices, and dealing with contingencies. In addition, we demonstrate that maintaining a physical activity career requires investment and deliberation to continually adapt physical activity practices within an individual’s own personal biography. As such, we conclude that current strategies to promote physical activity to older adults are unlikely to result in increased levels of participation. To promote physical activity to older adults an understanding of how structural, cultural and historical contexts influence participation is needed.

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JO - Ageing and Society

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SN - 0144-686X

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