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    Making little changes: Increasing physical activity levels through feminist community education

    Kerins, Caoimhe (2018) Making little changes: Increasing physical activity levels through feminist community education. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Globally, 80 per cent of adolescents and 23 per cent of adults are engaging in low levels of physical activity. This is creating a potentially dangerous unhealthy future, with significant implications of sustaining the costs of public health systems, as the increased burden of responding to projected increases in preventable chronic health conditions emerges over the next 10 – 30 years. This is a gendered phenomenon, with women engaging in lower levels of physical activity than men across the life cycle. Women and working class people consistently have the lowest levels of physical activity in Ireland. This research project set out to establish a women’s health and fitness community education programme that was aimed at working class women. This women’s health and fitness programme hoped to increase both critical health literacy and levels of physical activity. This has been a Feminist Action Research project. The goal was to explore the outcomes of an intersectional feminist and critical community education programme which pedagogically differed significantly from public health and sports initiatives which have aimed to increase physical activity levels. It found that the Women’s Health and Fitness Programme did increase health literacy and levels of physical activity, as well as improving healthy eating for the women who participated. It identified lack of time due to care work responsibilities and the lack of knowledge and support for women’s postnatal bodies in sports sites to be barriers to women participating in physical activity. The pedagogical approach inherent in the community education setting, which emphasised wellbeing, built community and solidarity and democratised the classroom, was shown to be a crucial element. It argued that women’s community education is a key and under-utilised site for increasing physical activity levels among working class women.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Additional Information: Submitted in part fulfilment of the requirements for the M.Ed in Adult and Community Education
    Keywords: Increasing physical activity levels; feminist community education; M.Ed in Adult and Community Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Adult and Community Education
    Item ID: 12216
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2020 15:17
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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