Empowerment is a complex, multidimensional construct that has been criticized for its overuse and definitional dilution; however, the value and importance of empowering marginalized groups such as women and victims of sexual assault remains salient. The present study explores how participation in a women’s only fitness class can empower women who are victims of sexual violence. Using cross-sectional data from a larger evaluation project of Pink Gloves Boxing (PGB), several constructs (e.g., self-efficacy for exercise, empowerment in exercise, and perceptions of autonomy support) were measured to capture empowerment as operationalized in Cattaneo and Chapman’s (2010) and Cattaneo and Goodman’s (2015) Empowerment Process Model. Multiple Indicator, Multiple Cause structural equation modeling was used to examine differences in empowerment outcomes among women in a convenience sample (N = 149) of women in PGB and traditional fitness classes. Comparisons were made based on their sexual victimization experience and their participation in either PGB or traditional group fitness classes. Results revealed that women in PGB who had been victimized were more empowered than victims (γ = -0.38, p < .01) and nonvictims (γ = -0.24, p < .05) in traditional fitness classes. There were no significant differences among women in PGB, regardless of victimization. Implications for the empowering benefits of women’s only physical activity participation for victims of sexual assault are discussed.
Amy N. Cole and Sarah Ullrich-French
Renee Engeln, Margaret Shavlik and Colleen Daly
physical activities ( Segar, Spruijt-Metz, & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2006 ). Objectifying Cues in Fitness Classes Multiple aspects of group fitness classes could contribute to self-objectification in women. First, fitness classes present environments riddled with opportunities for social comparison, as students
Kristen Lucas and E. Whitney G. Moore
activities. Furthermore, Conn ( 2010 ) specifically called for research examining the effect of group exercise on individuals’ mindfulness given the positive social interactions that occur in groups. Thus, we hypothesized that when group fitness classes promote an optimal motivational climate (i
important to explore how and why some forms of practical knowledge become more valued than others and to ask who defines what is important in the work context of group fitness instructors. Epistemological approaches to physical activity easily ignore the regulations and rules of the business-driven context
Matt C. Crockett and Ted Butryn
CrossFit is a group fitness program that incorporates a variety of weightlifting and gymnastic movements performed at a fast pace ( Glassman, 2007 ). In slightly over a decade, the program has exploded from one gym in Santa Cruz, Calif., into a network of over 10,000 affiliated facilities worldwide
Lisa G. Johnson and Birgitta L. Baker
Louisiana State University’s School of Kinesiology has partnered with the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Fitness Center in Baton Rouge, LA since 2003 offering our fitness studies concentration majors a unique service-learning experience. The center is located in a community with citizens battling many health issues, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, with limited access and resources that promote a heathy lifestyle. Students enrolled in a senior capstone course work with the community members in the Sensational Seniors fitness program. This fitness program addresses some of those needs by providing a variety of group exercise sessions promoting overall health and longevity for the participants. Our students are able to apply theoretical concepts learned in lectures and laboratories to address public health concerns in a real-life setting. The students lead group fitness activities, monitor blood pressures, and disseminate appropriate and updated health and exercise information for the seniors.
Tanya Nieri and Elizabeth Hughes
This study explored women’s subjective experience of Zumba, a new, popular form of group fitness. We interviewed 41 racially/ethnically diverse adult women from the Los Angeles/Inland Empire (California) area who had taken Zumba in the previous year. The women reported taking Zumba for the purpose of exercise and did not challenge the notion that exercise is imperative. However, they reported positive experiences of Zumba, contrasting it with other fitness forms, which they characterized as boring, stressful, painful, lonely, and/or atomistic, and with other dancing, which they characterized as more restrictive. They perceived Zumba to prioritize fun over work and process over outcomes; value individual autonomy and personalization rather than strict conformity; and engage the participant as more than just a body to be shaped. They felt freer to engage in behavior that is considered to violate structural gender norms, but their experience did not translate to an explicit challenge to the gender structure.
Divya Rajaraman, Natasha Correa, Zubin Punthakee, Scott A. Lear, Krishnaswamy G. Jayachitra, Mario Vaz and Sumathi Swaminathan
The purpose of this study was to understand perceived benefits, facilitators, disadvantages, and barriers for physical activity among South Asian adolescents in India and Canada.
Thirteen focus group discussions with South Asian (origin) adolescent boys and girls of different nutritional status and socioeconomic status in rural and urban India and urban Canada.
Across the groups, fitness and ‘energy’ were perceived to be major benefits of physical activity. In India, better academic performance was highlighted, while health benefits were well detailed in Canadian groups. In all settings, friends, family, and teachers were perceived as facilitators of as well as barriers to physical activity. Lack of a safe space to play was a major concern for urban adolescents, while academic pressures and preference for other sedentary recreational activities were common barriers across all groups. Girls were less likely than boys to be interested in physical activity, with girls’ participation in India further limited by societal restrictions.
The study suggests key areas for promotion of physical activity among South Asian adolescents: balance between academic pressure and opportunities for physical activity, especially in India; urban planning for a built environment conducive to physical activity; and gender-sensitive programming to promote girls’ activity which also addresses culture-specific barriers.
Faye Linda Wachs
in a way that meaningfully considers the hegemony of the fitness industry and the creative and polysemic experience of participation. To address this, Hentges focuses on group fitness and gender. As a long time participant and instructor, Hentges uses primarily personal narratives to construct her
ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford, E. Kipling Webster, Daniel W. Tindall and Seo Hee Lee
proficiency and physical fitness for children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Approximately 1,080 min (1 session, 90 min/week) of simulated developmental horse-riding program and group fitness sessions resulted in significantly improved motor proficiency skills and aerobic endurance in