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Active Living: Just a Passing Fad?

Kim L. Bercovitz and Harvey A. Skinner
Canadian Journal of Public Health / Revue Canadienne de Santé Publique
Vol. 87, No. 4 (JULY / AUGUST 1996), pp. 275-279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41993797
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

The shift from a prescriptive exercise model to Canada's Active Living has created considerable tension in the public health and fitness fields. This study examined areas of consensus and debate about Active Living. Semistructured interviews of 42 stakeholders were conducted to capture competing perspectives. Several assumptions concerning the meaning of Active Living were challenged, such as Active Living being an inclusive and holistic concept. Limitations associated with the breadth of Active Living were noted (e.g., operationalization and measurement). Finally, areas of tension were identified: government turf battles, top-down pressure, fear of replacement/role-loss, perceived lack of expertise, and discomfort associated with the perception of Active Living as a political construct. If Active Living is to be more than just a passing fad, then several challenges must be addressed: 1) clarification and communication of Active Living, 2) establishment of a research base, and 3) enhanced government and organizational support. Le passage du modèle prescrivant l'exercice à celui de vie active suscite beaucoup de tension au sein des secteurs de la santé publique et de la condition physique. Cette étude examine les domaines de consensus et de débat autour du concept de vie active. Des entrevues à demi structurées ont été menées auprès de 42 personnes concernées pour cerner les perspectives en opposition. Plusieurs hypothèses quant au sens de vie active ont été contestées, notamment celle voulant qu'il s'agisse d'un concept inclusif et holistique. Les limitations associées au domaine que recouvre le concept de vie active ont été notées (par ex., la mise en application et la façon de mesurer). Enfin, les sujets de tension ont été identifiés : luttes de pouvoir au sein du gouvernement, pressions de la hiérarchie, peur d'être remplacé/de perdre son rôle, impression d'inexpertise, et inconfortable impression que tout ceci n'est qu'une construction politique. Si le concept de vie active doit être plus qu'une idée à la mode, il convient de s'attaquer à plusieurs questions : 1) clarifier et diffuser le concept de vie active; 2) établir une base de recherche, et 3) disposer d'un appui organisationnel et gouvernemental plus fort.

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