Anglia Ruskin University
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Supportive environments for physical activity in deprived communities in the United Kingdom: a qualitative study using photo elicitation

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posted on 2023-08-30, 15:00 authored by Alexia Sawyer, Marcella Ucci, Russell Jones, Lee Smith, Abigail Fisher
The health benefits of regular physical activity are substantial and well-established. However, population activity levels are insufficient to obtain health benefits in the United Kingdom (UK), and strategies to increase activity, particularly in income-deprived communities, are sought. Socioecological models of physical activity posit that activity levels are influenced by social, physical and wider environmental factors. In line with a growing evidence base, there is a need to understand the factors that contribute to an activity-supportive neighbourhood within deprived settings within the UK. This study used photo-elicitation qualitative interviews to explore environmental facilitators and barriers to neighbourhood-based, outdoor physical activity in 23 adults living in two income-deprived neighbourhoods in Glasgow, UK. Data were collected between June and October 2015, and were explored using thematic analysis. Five themes were identified: ‘diversity of destinations in the neighbourhood’, ‘provision of services to support healthy environments’, ‘ownership of public space and facilities to encourage physical activity’, ‘collective control of public space to prevent disorder’ and ‘perceived value of the neighbourhood’. Findings highlighted the close interaction between these themes and more broadly between social and physical facets of neighbourhood environments that were unsupportive of physical activity. Discourse about economic aspects was pervasive and emerged as deeply affecting characteristics of the social and physical environment and upstream influences on physical activity. This study supports evidence that multi-faceted interventions addressing aspects of the social, physical and economic environment may be needed to support outdoor physical activity in deprived communities.



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Social Science & Medicine





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  • eng

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ARCHIVED Faculty of Science & Technology (until September 2018)

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