• Martin Thorsager
4. term, Public Administration and Social Science (Master Programme)
Title: The impact on adults´ physical activity when entering the parental phase of life
The scope of this project is to shed light on physical activity among parents and try to explain how the level of exercise is affected by becoming parents.
Little knowledge concerning parenthood and physical exercise is currently available. The research, which has been carried out so far, has been quantitative and with a broader perspective and thus a more qualitative approach is needed in order to gain more knowledge concerning the parents own perception of their situation.
In short, this project will look into two main aspects regarding parents and physical exercise. The first aspect is how the level of physical activity is influenced by becoming parents and the second aspect is why.
The data material included for the analysis consists of both existing quantitative and new qualitative information. The quantitative data has been borrowed from the publication Danskernes motions-og sportsvaner carried out in 2007. Furthermore five interviews with parents of children between the age of 0-7 years have been conducted. The limited amount of interviews renders any generalisation of the findings impossible. However, the use of the quantitative data and the combination of the two types of data will provide an opportunity of gaining knowledge concerning a larger group of people.
The data will be analysed using the theories of Pierre Bourdieu and Anthony Giddens. The concept of habitus presented by Bourdieu with provide a context of understanding the difficulties parents meet in maintaining the same level of physical activity after having a child and might provide knowledge as to why some parents manage the transition better than others.
Giddens´ theory will provide a phrame for analyzing the parents´ reflexivity concerning the habits of exercise and an understanding of whether parents use exercise as a type of self promotion and who this is affected by having children.
The analysis will furthermore look into the importance of social relations and environment. In order to guide the analysis five hypotheses have been developed on the basis of the presented theory.
The relevance of the project can be found in the fact that the importance of physical activity in relation to peoples´ health cannot be underestimated. If the level of physical activity among parents decreases rapidly, it will influence not only their own health, but also the health habits of the entire family.
Parents are less physical active then adults without children. Parenthood is a big occasion which results in dramatic change in physical activity because of restricting of parents life style. Less personal time is disposal and that explains the decrease in time for parents own activity.
The project is a humble contribution to the knowledge concerning parents and physical activity and hopefully the conclusions will indicate possible directions for helping parents towards a healthier family life in the future.
Publication date2011
Number of pages79
ID: 52869844