Perceived Benefits of Women’s Participation in Exercise Classes

By Janet Lynne Currie.

Published by The Sport Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In Australia, women are 20 percent less likely than men to achieve ‘sufficient’ levels of physical activity, placing them at increased risk of developing chronic disease. The purpose of my study was to explore perceived benefits associated with exercise class participation. Forty-nine women completed a written questionnaire on their perceived benefits of exercise class participation. The participants included 4 age groups spread across the lifespan, with the most common age group 60+ years. The main reasons given by participants included ‘de-stressing’ for women aged 18 years and under, ‘fun/enjoyment’ for those aged 25–49 years, ‘feeling good and enjoyment’ for 50–59 years and ‘social’ reasons in the 60+ years age group. Women tend to desire enjoyment and ‘feel good’ aspects from their exercise class participation. To be more successful in attracting women to physical activity, we may promote enjoyment aspects and not just emphasise the general ‘intensity’ aspects of exercise programs.

Keywords: Women, Exercise Class, Aerobics, Perceptions, Health, Lifestyle

The International Journal of Sport and Society, Volume 3, Issue 1, 2012, pp.1-7. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.170MB).

Dr. Janet Lynne Currie

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Dr. Currie has a background in school teaching, university lecturing, community health promotion and health policy. She has qualifications in education and health promotion. Her research interests focus on investigating the perceived benefits of participation in leisure and physical activity, health promotion policy, marketing and promotion of healthy lifestyles and social and emotional well-being. Janet has designed numerous educational materials in the area of health promotion and exercise including books, videos, teacher and community resources. She is currently involved in creating effective health education messages designed for young males in the school classroom setting, using sport as the key focus. Dr. Currie is a past National President, Vice-President and State representative of the Australian Health Promotion Association. She is a Director of Health Education and Promotion International. She was awarded the Outstanding Community Engagement Award (Australian Catholic University) in 2003.