Conference Agenda

RN28_05: Physical activity and health condition
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Enrico Michelini, TU Dortmund
Location: BS.1.25
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, First Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road


Physical Activity in the Different Domains of Daily Life

Laura Iannucci, Emanuela Bologna, Laura Cialdea, Manuela Michelini

ISTAT, Italy

Numerous studies on lifestyles in modern societies have shown that one of the main characteristics is the tendency to sedentary lifestyle. The most part of time is spent on the internet, watching television or doing other sedentary activities. This is worrying because of the negative repercussions to health; being physically active is essential for health and well-being and the benefits of physical activity are well-known. Recent data show that most part of people in Europe do not reach the minimum level of physical activity recommended by the WHO: only 30.8% of adult population engage at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity in a week. In Italy only 18.3% of adults is active.

The aim of this work is to analyze active versus sedentary lifestyles in the different domains of daily life (leisure, work, housework). Data analyzed come from different surveys carried out by ISTAT from 1993 to 2017 (Aspects of daily life, EHIS, Time use; Citizens and leisure time).

Preliminary results show that on average in a day 34% of time is spent sleeping, 28% in sedentary behaviors and only 37% in physical activities. If we consider the different domains, 26% of adults is active exclusively at work/housework, while only the 17.5% is active in all the domains. Multivariate analysis were applied to estimate the risk of sedentary habits in the different domains, according to individual sociodemographic characteristics and other unhealthy behaviors. The results show that especially socioeconomic factors (level of education and economic resources) play an important role.

Relationship between sports and persistence among Higher Education students in Central and Eastern Europe

Klara Kovacs

University of Debrecen, Hungary

Our presentation aims to reveal the interrelation between students’ doing sports and the subjective indicators of their persistence in their studies in Hungary’s Northern Plains region, and in Slovakia, Ukraine, Serbia and in Romania. The theoretical background for our research was constituted by the development model, as well as the institutional integrational model of Tinto (1975), Pascarella and Terenzini (1980). Persistence was measured through a nine-item inventory. We intended to find out how determined students were in connection with the completion of their studies, how useful they found their selected courses, and how committed they were in connection with meeting classroom and exam requirements. The database contains data regarding students in the region of Hungary that borders on five countries, as well as minority Hungarian students in the neighbouring countries (IESA 2015, N=2017).

Our results contradict the integrational model, as membership in a sports club reduces the persistence of the student concerned, regardless of the gender, country and the effects of the social background variables. Although the regressive analyses did not show the effects of doing some sport at sports clubs outside the campus, or doing sport at both place, the comparative analyses clearly show that students who do sport at sports clubs or associations outside the campus are at a distinct advantage in terms of their attitude to their studies. Students who are members in some sports club on and outside campus tend to express their commitment to their studies.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: Head Trauma and Sporting Subjectivity

Greg Hollin

University of Leeds, United Kingdom

‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy’ (CTE) is a form of neurodegenerative disease associated with head injuries and linked to a range of mood and motor disturbances. CTE most frequently results from sporting activity and there is growing concern about a ‘silent epidemic’ of dementias associated with the disease. Indeed, there are increasing demands for action to prevent CTE with rule changes proposed in a diverse range of sporting arenas.

In the wake of such debate, it has been argued that ‘CTE has transcended its status as a medical diagnosis and become a cultural phenomenon’ (Ventresca, 2018, p. 2). In this paper, I ask how CTE, as a ‘cultural phenomenon,’ has affected the way we render those who play sport and how we make sense of their actions. Utilizing discursive analysis, I examine the six long-form biographies of two NFL players who died by suicide and were posthumously diagnosed with CTE. I find that, first, CTE does indeed play a prominent role within these players’ biographies and is used to understand their behaviour – not only their suicides but also perceived changes in character and criminal acts of violence. Second, I find that these neurological discourses do not simply replace established narratives but rather diffract through longstanding discourses based around masculinity and race. I conclude that while CTE plays an increasingly prominent role in our understanding of sporting subjectivities, any straightforward notion of medicalization or neuro-reductionism in sport may well be misplaced.

Eudaimonic Happiness in the Biographies of Amateur Athletes

Kaja Rożdżyńska

University of Warsaw, Poland

Happiness can be captured not only from the perspective of emotions, but also as an ethical category. As Julia Annas (Annas, 2004) notes, happiness, eudaimonia, is treated in philosophical reflection as an achievement - a desirable condition to be endeavor through a set of appropriate practices.

I would like to propose a look at biographies of amateur athletes through the prism of eudaimonia, happiness in the category of goal to achieve. Such an approach requires looking at life from a global perspective and making reflections on how the adopted life plans shape and organize its course.

I will present the proposal for this interpretation on the chosen case of an aspiring runner, striving to run her first marathon. The material subjected to analysis and interpretation was collected by a method of narrative biographical interview, allowing for a free, uncontrolled and spontaneous statement of the interviewee about the whole of her life. This technique summarizes current biography and as such is a good starting point for eudaimonic reflection.

The proposed approach may also contribute to a broader reflection on the role of amateur sport in the postmodern world. A reflection on the happiness in the category of goal to achieve and the resulting life plans allows for the interpretation of amateur sport as a tool to regain control and agency in a liquid, uncertain reality.