Physical Activity and the Ageing Body

  • Victoria J. Palmer
  • Emmanuelle Tulle
  • James Bowness


Understanding experiences of physical activity (PA) as we age requires an engagement with the ageing body. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the complexities of negotiating PA as we physically age and to consider what are appropriate ways of putting the ageing body into movement. Firstly, we present a brief outline of the sociological understandings of the ageing body and locate PA within this. We then draw on empirical data from three research projects which explore PA in older people. Before promoting PA to older people, we must understand that becoming and remaining physically active is akin to a career and is a fragile endeavour, conditional on physical, cultural and phenomenological understandings of the body.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victoria J. Palmer
    • 1
  • Emmanuelle Tulle
    • 2
  • James Bowness
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Health and Wellbeing, College of Social ScienceUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  2. 2.Department of Social Sciences, Media and JournalismGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK

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