Pandemic geographies of physical activity

Coen, Stephanie E and Cook, Simon and Hayes, Sam (2021) Pandemic geographies of physical activity. In: COVID-19 and Similar Futures: Pandemic Geographies. Springer. ISBN 9783030701789

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Public health measures implemented to control COVID-19 (e.g., lock downs, social distancing) have dramatically changed the geographies of recreational physical activity, closing off traditional exercise places, and pushing people both inside homes and into outdoor spaces in new ways. This chapter problematizes geographies of physical activity in the time of COVID-19 by critically considering the implications of these changes for inequities in physical activity participation. We ask fundamentally whether physical activity even matters in pandemic times, and for whom? First, taking a critical public health perspective, we illustrate how exercise is being ‘weaponized’ against COVID-19 as a tool for the neoliberalization of health that downloads responsibility for COVID-19 prevention and management to a moral problem for individuals. Next, we consider early evidence about the effects of the pandemic on physical activity, which paints a mixed picture while largely indicating a continuation of inequitable trends. Finally, we demonstrate how a pandemic geography along an indoor (private)/outdoor (public) binary not only intensifies existing inequities in physical activity but crystallizes how participation is interconnected with wider social injustices.

Item Type: Book Section
20 November 2020Accepted
23 July 2021Published
Subjects: CAH26 - geography, earth and environmental studies > CAH26-01 - geography, earth and environmental studies > CAH26-01-03 - human geography
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: Simon Cook
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 14:24
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2023 03:00

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