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Title: Industrial restructuring and physical activity in England
Author: Rind, Esther
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 7632
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2012
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In recent decades, the prevalence of physical activity has declined considerably in many high-income countries, and this has been linked to rising levels of obesity and several weight-related medical conditions such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer. There is some evidence that areas experiencing the lowest levels of physical activity tend to be those which have undergone a particularly strong transition away from employment in physically demanding occupations. It is proposed that such processes of industrial restructuring may be causally linked to unexplained geographical variations in activity patterns. Although the socio-cultural correlates of activity behaviours have been well studied, none have explicitly attempted to identify components of industrial change that may impact physical activity. This thesis addresses the gap in knowledge surrounding the socio-cultural context of industrial restructuring by investigating where, how and why dimensions of industrial change may impact current levels of physical activity in England. The research applies a mixed methods approach using GIS techniques, multilevel modelling and qualitative research interviewing. Firstly, the current literature on socio-cultural correlates of health behaviours is reviewed to present a novel conceptual framework that hypothesises how processes between physical activity and industrial restructuring may be linked in context. Subsequently, measures of industrial restructuring as well as physical activity are developed to analyse spatial variations in activity patterns across England. The analyses focus on how employment decline in physically demanding occupations may affect current levels of physical activity across different activity domains and relevant macroeconomic time periods. Finally, this research aims to get an insight in the mechanisms underlying the relationship between physical activity and industrial restructuring. Results from this research showed geographical variations with distinctive urban-rural disparities in levels of predominantly recreational physical activity across England. Processes of industrial restructuring appeared to be associated with patterns of physical activity, although the nature of the association differed across areas, time periods and employment types. The results also highlighted the plausible impact of inherited cultures and regional identities on health-related behaviours. Socio-cultural factors relevant in the context of industrial restructuring are likely to provide valuable context in activityrelated research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available