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Exercise as a poisoned elixir: inactivity, inequality and intervention

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journal contribution
posted on 25.01.2018, 10:20 by Oli Williams, Kass Gibson
In this article, we theorise and explain Exercise is Medicine (EiM), as indicative of broader physical activity (PA) health promotion, from a sociological perspective through the lens of health equity. Data were collected through two independent ethnographic studies that bookend the EiM endeavour: the production of knowledge in the laboratory, and the creation and implementation of health policy and PA interventions. First, we demonstrate how conceptualising exercise as medicine assumes narrow pathology and (prescribed) solution a priori, which has given rise to a new form of movement intellectuals. Within such context, we explain how the study of physical (in)activity (especially by exercise scientists) is shaped by broader social and political contexts of the university sector and disciplinary legitimacy produced through alignment with other (medical) institutions. Second, we review the ‘causes of the causes’ of ill-health and wider social determinants of health as related to exercise. Presenting exercise as a ‘therapy of freedom’ that is to some extent epiphenomenal we examine the social inequalities and lifestyle drift which inhibit equitable access to this health promoting behaviour. We then outline an original qualitative methodological development: duoethnographic creative non-fiction, which has enabled the synthesis of two independent ethnographic studies. Findings of this accessible and engaging methodology, in the form of two stories, show the need for an alternative approach that values activity, prioritises equity and underscores methodological collaboration. For this reason, we conclude by proposing greater interdisciplinarity by aligning EiM with the Behavioural Justice Movement.

History

Citation

Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 2017, pp. 1-17

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES AND PSYCHOLOGY/School of Medicine/Department of Health Sciences

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Qualitative Research in Sport

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles

issn

2159-676X

eissn

2159-6778

Acceptance date

21/06/2017

Copyright date

2017

Available date

09/01/2019

Publisher version

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/2159676X.2017.1346698

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 18 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en