‘Swim for Health:’ Barriers to participation for pre-school aged children and their families in an aquatic activity intervention in the North of England.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt i tidsskriftForskningfagfællebedømt

‘Swim for Health’ was the first of a number of health initiatives instigated by the National Governing Body for Aquatic Activity in the UK, the Amateur Swimming Association. This initiative is a multi-agency partnership with the aims of increasing participation in aquatic activities and decreasing health inequalities across the region. Aquatic activity offers great potential for reducing obesity levels in at risk communities (e.g. Hardy 1990). A key group within this intervention was children of pre-school age and their parents in lower socio-economic groups.
The study aimed to identify perceived barriers to participation in this group.
26 semi-structured interviews and 12 focus groups were carried out with 54 individuals. All participants were female parents aged between 19 and 44 years. Questionnaires were completed with 132 individuals. These data were used to complement interview data.
Results indicate only 50% of participants engaged in physical activity without their families. Participants’ male partners engaged more in physical activity alone, suggesting strong gender roles in physical activity choices. Where solitary physical activity was in evidence, perfecting the body through ‘bodywork’ was central. However, swimming was still popular as a family activity. Participants felt less self-conscious about the perceived deficiencies of their bodies when swimming with their families as they focussed instead on their children’s wellbeing, pool hygiene and risk. Hence, participants emphasised children’s water safety. Time constraints were a key barrier to participation.
Despite participants stating their interest in swimming, significant barriers exist for this group. These barriers were often linked to gender roles.

TidsskriftInternational Journal of Obesity
Udgave nummerS1
Sider (fra-til)169
StatusUdgivet - 2008
Eksternt udgivetJa
Begivenhed16th European Congress on Obesity - Geneva, Schweiz
Varighed: 14 maj 200817 maj 2008


Konference16th European Congress on Obesity

ID: 153341646