Openly accessible

Have adults lost their sense of play? An observational study of the social dynamics of physical (in)activity in German and Hawaiian leisure settings

Thiel, Ansgar, Thedinga, Hendrik K., Thomas, Samantha L., Barkhoff, Harald, Giel, Katrin E., Schweizer, Olesia, Thiel, Syra and Zipfel, Stephan 2016, Have adults lost their sense of play? An observational study of the social dynamics of physical (in)activity in German and Hawaiian leisure settings, BMC public health, vol. 16, Article number: 689, pp. 1-15, doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3392-3.

Attached Files
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
thomas-haveadultslost-2016.pdf Published version application/pdf 1.54MB 42

Title Have adults lost their sense of play? An observational study of the social dynamics of physical (in)activity in German and Hawaiian leisure settings
Author(s) Thiel, Ansgar
Thedinga, Hendrik K.
Thomas, Samantha L.ORCID iD for Thomas, Samantha L. orcid.org/0000-0003-1427-7775
Barkhoff, Harald
Giel, Katrin E.
Schweizer, Olesia
Thiel, Syra
Zipfel, Stephan
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 16
Season Article number: 689
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016
ISSN 1471-2458
Keyword(s) physical activity
social dynamics
group activity
leisure settings
observational study
Summary BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is one of the biggest health problems nowadays. Recent research shows that socio-cultural barriers to physical activity are mostly related to modern lifestyles. However, there is a lack of research on how social and group dynamics influence engagement in physical activity. Furthermore, there are few cross-cultural studies that have compared the social dynamics of (in)activity in different cultural settings. This paper therefore aims to analyse how social group dynamics influence physical activity and inactivity in informal social environments and whether physical activity is influenced by the socio-cultural settings. METHODS: The paper presents the qualitative data collected within a covert participant observation study. Data was collected by keeping observational notes in order to record typical, regular patterns regarding physical (in)activity related behaviour of groups at an artificial open air swimming pool in Germany and a natural pond in Hawai'i. The data collection period was eight and a half months. Data was interpreted based on constant comparative analysis in order to identify most generative patterns in the field notes. RESULTS: Group structures appear to play a significant role regarding the activity of the group members. In this study, we identified four key factors that influence group based physical activity: 1) Physical activity seems to be a group disturbing behaviour particularly in larger groups of adults; 2) Physical activity appears to be more functional and less joyful in adults than in children; 3) Group activity is influenced by (in)activity anchors, including 'domestication' of a group's site, obesity, and controlling parents. 4) Physical activity is to a certain extent socially contagious, particularly with regard to playful activities. CONCLUSIONS: Successful promotion of physical activity should target the social structures of inactive individuals' groups. In this regard, one of the main problems is that fun and wellbeing, as very important targets of public health strategies for the adult population, appear not to be compatible with physical activity. Developing strategies to reframe physical activity rather as 'fun' and less as functional may be one way to engage inactive individuals in physical activity in leisure settings.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12889-016-3392-3
Field of Research 1117 Public Health And Health Services
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085755

Connect to link resolver
 
Unless expressly stated otherwise, the copyright for items in DRO is owned by the author, with all rights reserved.

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.

Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in TR Web of Science
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Access Statistics: 262 Abstract Views, 43 File Downloads  -  Detailed Statistics
Created: Fri, 16 Sep 2016, 15:03:55 EST

Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.