Dissertation Abstracts

(Dis)engaging in moving-body practices: Physical activity correlates among university students in Mexico

Author: Vanessa García González, vanessa.garglez@gmail.com
Department: HMV/ISAK LiU and IIFA UÉvora
University: Linköping Universitet, and Universidade de Évora, Sweden
Supervisor: Begt Richt, Sam Willner, Ema Pires
Year of completion: In progress
Language of dissertation: English

Keywords: Physical activity , Moving-body practices , Mixed methods , university students
Areas of Research: Health , Body in the Social Sciences , Visual Sociology


The aim of this study was to gather in-depth data to provide insights into individual, social and environmental correlates of physical activity in order to identify priority elements to design feasible and effective intervention strategies to promote regular physical activity engagement among university students in a middle-income country such as Mexico. The situation of university students (dis)engaging in moving-body practices was explored through the use of a survey based on the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire and the construction of Moving-body diaries that included visual and verbal narratives. The survey was conducted among first and fourth year students (2015, n=1046) from three different universities. Significant predictors (p < .05) were evaluated using logistic regression. Additionally, eleven students from three universities created Moving-body diaries, framing and narrating their physicalities in their social worlds. We used the situational analysis theory-method package to analyze the qualitative data. Findings showed that 8.5% of students did not meet WHO recommendations on physical activity, while, 39.7% of students did not participate in vigorous-intensity PA. Results revealed that male students, and female students who were working and studying were more likely to meet WHO recommendations on PA; while, University B students were less likely than those in University A to meet guidelines. Findings based on visual and verbal narratives indicate the existence of other factors affecting university students’ physical activity practices, such as: individual life projects and aspirations for social mobility, the process of growing up, lack of time, being tired, enjoyment of a moving-body practice, body image, desire to lose weight, health concerns, being supported by significant others, safety concerns, lack of money, bad weather and lack of accessible facilities and activities. Findings indicate that intervention strategies using multilevel approaches across social worlds, aiming to promote a moving-body culture may be most effective.