Inactivity permeates the UK with 61% of men and 71% of women self reporting that they fail to achieve the minimum adult recommendations for physical activity. The benefits of physical activity are widely accepted; the Start Active, Stay Active campaign (2011) summarised the international evidence for the health benefits of undertaking regular physical activity realised by the population; notably reducing the risk of chronic conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancer, obesity, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions. Consequently, the multidimensional entity of physical activity and its biological, socio-environmental and cultural context have been a prevalent source of exploratory study and national debate.
These deliberations have been increasing exponentially in later years, not only due to the known effects of physical activity on health, but more recently due to the Olympic Games and its link to the creation of a long lasting legacy for physical activity that was incorporated into the Olympic bid. Surprisingly, there are relatively few theoretical frameworks conceptualising the long lasting effects of mass sporting events on sustained physical activity levels and those that do exist focus on the “euphoria” that may translate into a more motivated population towards physical activity.
It is the purpose of this study to secure an in-depth understanding of how individual’s perceived both the Olympic Games and its effect on their motivations for sport and physical activity within a life course context. This purpose has emerged over the course of this assignment, refined initially in response to course tutor comments but also in light of research literature constructing that people’s current participation and perceptions of physical activity/sport are developed throughout life. In this way, exploring the life course context provided an interesting platform from which to discover how perceived...