Factors influencing participation in rural outdoor ‘healthy exercise’ schemes: the case of South Staffordshire

Curry, N., Crone, D., Gidlow, C. and James, D. (2012) Factors influencing participation in rural outdoor ‘healthy exercise’ schemes: the case of South Staffordshire. Leisure Studies, 31 (4). pp. 447-463. ISSN 0261-4367 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/17801

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2011.600322


Policy exhortations for promoting outdoor physical activity have increased considerably in England and Wales over the past 20 years. Despite a considerable number of schemes developing during this period to encourage physical activity and exercise, marked population-level changes in outdoor physical activity behaviour have not been seen. The paper explores the triggers to this participation using a five-fold classification: physical infrastructure; information infrastructure; administrative infrastructure; participant constraints and participant preferences. Through a series of interviews in a case study ‘healthy exercise’ scheme in South Staffordshire, a district local authority in England, these triggers to participation are identified and explored. It is concluded that whilst the infrastructure triggers can be manipulated by scheme providers in an attempt to improve scheme participation, participant triggers fall largely beyond the control of scheme providers. Research suggests, too, that participant triggers tend to be stronger than infrastructure ones. Because of this, where there is a lack of healthy exercise scheme success, this cannot necessarily be attributed to scheme providers as it might be as a result of user triggers. For the same reason, it might be beyond the influence of scheme providers to turn ‘failing’ exercise schemes into successful ones.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:health policy, triggers to exercise participation, participant constraints, physical activity, outdoors, South Staffordshire, participant preferences, barriers to exercise, healthy exercise
ID Code:17801
Deposited By: Professor N. Curry
Deposited On:26 Nov 2012 16:08
Last Modified:20 Feb 2018 14:21

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