How are university gyms used by staff and students? A mixed-method study exploring gym use, motivation, and communication in three UK gyms

Frances Rapport, Hayley Hutchings, Marcus A. Doel, Bridget Wells, Clare Clement, Stephen Mellalieu, Sergei Shubin, David Brown, Rebecca Seah, Sarah Wright, Andrew Sparkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study examined university gym use by staff and students using mixed methods: participant observation and an e-survey. Research in three UK universities entailed 16 observation sessions and an e-survey that reached 3396 students and staff. The research focused on gym use, the gym environment, the presentation of the self, and social interaction within gym spaces. The gyms were found to have a difficult role to play in providing functionality for some, while helping others to be active and minimize feelings of isolation and lack of control. This led to these gyms developing spaces of exercise rather than therapeutic spaces, and divisions in use of space, with some areas rarely used and often highly gendered, resulting in contested meanings produced within Healthy University discourses and physical activities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalSocieties
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • gym use
  • gym culture
  • university staff
  • university students
  • higher education

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