Challenges for active living provision in an era of healthism

Maureen Harrington, Simone Fullagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (SciVal)
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The rationalities of advanced liberalism shape the call for people to be more responsible for 'being active and eating well' [Dean, M. (1999). Governmentality: Power and rule in modern society. London: Sage; Petersen, A., & Lupton, D. (1997). The new public health. London: Sage], even those living with social disadvantage. We draw upon qualitative data to examine how sport and recreation policy and program officers within state and local levels of government frame and interpret the 'active living imperative' for healthy lifestyles. Our analysis identified major policy tensions between different levels of government that directly affect the success of government initiatives to increase physical activity. We present our analysis of four main themes: (1) the rise of the health agenda in sport and recreation policy and sport and recreation services enhanced role in health promotion; (2) the obesity epidemic as the instigator for the policy shift in sport and recreation; (3) tensions between government agendas and competing priorities; and (4) governments' proposed solutions to support active leisure in communities. Our analysis of the sport/recreation sector revealed competing priorities with the health promotion focus on reducing lifestyle risk and a need for more strategic cooperation between levels of government and different departments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-157
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


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