‘Weather work’: embodiment and weather learning in a national outdoor exercise programme

  • Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • Qualitative Research in Sport Exercise and Health, July 2017, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/2159676x.2017.1360382

'Weather work': learning how to engage with weather in a Welsh outdoor exercise programme

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

Photo by Neil Thomas on Unsplash

What is it about?

Over the past 25 years, UK government policy has sought to promote and increase exercise and physical activity levels in the population. In recent years, too, there has been growing sociological interest in exercise and physical activity embodiment issues. This article contributes original insights to a developing body of phenomenological-sociological empirical work in this domain, in addressing the lived experience of organised exercise in outdoor environments, and specifically in theorising the role of ‘lived weather’ in contouring these experiences. It thus addresses the call by Vannini et al. (2012) to remedy the notable ‘absent-presence’ of weather in much social science research. Drawing upon data from a two-year multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional ethnographic study of a nationwide exercise programme in Wales, UK, this article examines participants’ (n = 146) lived experience of weather, and theorises their ‘weather learning’, and ‘weather work’, both of which emerged as highly salient in the findings.

Why is it important?

Over the past 25 years, the UK government has sought to promote and increase exercise and physical activity levels in the population. There is relatively little research exploring the lived experience of organised exercise in outdoor environments, however, and specifically in theorising the role of ‘lived weather’ in shaping these experiences. Here, I respond to the call by Vannini et al. (2012) to remedy the notable ‘absent-presence’ of weather in much social science research.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2159676x.2017.1360382

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson