Today’s society is consumed by fitness and health care. There are thousands of articles, television commercials, and websites about the latest miracle diet and work out technique. Gyms and work out facilities are popping up all over the place, and personal trainers appear to be very busy with fitness crazed clients. The no-carb and high protein diets are only a few that seem to be taking over. Lately it seems as though society is more concerned about washboard abs and toned arms than actual physical, mental and social well being. With all of these things taken into consideration, what are the social norms of a healthy lifestyle?
The University of Washington has invested a huge sum of money into their student activity center; the facilities certainly have a lot to offer. I am able to join the UW gym because I work on campus. The newest cardio and weight machines, basketball, volleyball, and racquetball courts along with yoga classes, a swimming pool, and indoor tracks can keep the students very busy. There is also a juice bar, and a small food court to offer healthy dining options. Since part of a healthy lifestyle would be working out, I decided to conduct my observation at the UW Intramural Activities Building (IMA). Over the past few weeks I have spent several hours observing the norms and culture of the gym. My observation focused mainly on the work out facilities opposed to the juice bar and dining area. My observation also included an interview of a student actively using the IMA facilities.
The IMA is a large facility so my observation focused on only one main area. I focused on the ‘Upper Gym’, located at the top of the steps. In general the IMA is a very open space. The walls that enclose the different courts are glass so both the participants using the courts and the passerby can see what is going on. The upper floor, which includes treadmills, elliptical and bikes, overlooks the dining area. On the upper floor several...