What are the main barriers that younger adults (18 – 22) are faced with post full time education?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Although there is clear evidence to illustrate the positive effect that physical activity has on a person’s health; physically, mentally and socially, (Warburton et al., 2006; Hylton and Bramham, 2006; Fox, 1999) the levels of engagement in individuals aged 18 to 22 still remain less than satisfactory (Sport Wales, 2009). As a result of inactivity the levels of premature deaths are rising as well as the increasing number of children and adults suffering from obesity, chronic heart disease and diabetes. (Loland, 2004; DOH, 2004a; Warburton et al., 2006). Several studies have been completed to try and gain a better understanding of the causes of physical inactivity in younger adults, and although the findings have all showed similar conclusions, (Wolfenden, 1960; Tergerson and King, 2002; Warburton et al., 2006; SCW, 2009) activity levels remain low. In an attempt to increase the levels of physically activity performed by younger adults initiatives such as 5 x 60 and free swimming have removed the costs (Bolten et al.,2008) of participation, however other constraints such as interpersonal barriers (doing other things with their leisure time) have a strong impact upon participation and these prove harder to tackle (Coalter, 2007). The current research was based upon individuals aged between 18 and 22 who had previously been active; however, post full time education their attitudes and behaviours towards physical activity changed as their participation levels decreased. The study involved six semi structured interviews with both males and females with the intention of gaining increased knowledge and understanding of the barriers faced by these individuals. The research revealed that structural, interpersonal and intrapersonal (Crawford and Gobey, 1987) barriers all impact upon participation for this age group, however interpersonal barriers had the strongest affect as they would rather do other things than be active in their leisure time.
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