“It’s a Whole Different Atmosphere”: A Qualitative Examination of Social Support as a Facilitator of Exercise During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Health Promotion Practice
Emerging research identified physical inactivity and weight-related comorbidities as significant risk factors for contracting SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), reinforcing the importance of maintaining regular exercise during the pandemic. Previous scholarship in this area examined the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) across various populations. Currently, there is limited research examining how these populations engage in and navigate challenges relating to exercise during shelter-in-place mandates and no studies examining the role of social support in promoting exercise during the pandemic. In this study, we examine perceptions of social support during the COVID-19 pandemic among members who belong to a fitness community based in Oakland, California. In-depth interviews (n = 31) were used to understand how the pandemic has affected participants’ perceptions of current exercise habits and how understandings of social support facilitate engagement in physical activity. Reported narratives encompassed two primary themes: (1) Facilitators of Social Support and (2) Challenges and Barriers to Social Support. Our findings highlight the importance of social support for reinforcing perceptions of exercise adherence amid challenges experienced by members of a fitness community to remain physically active during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19, health promotion, health research, pandemic, physical activity/exercise, qualitative research
Public Health and Recreation
Andrew Carter and Adam C. Alexander. "“It’s a Whole Different Atmosphere”: A Qualitative Examination of Social Support as a Facilitator of Exercise During the COVID-19 Pandemic" Health Promotion Practice (2021): 622-630. https://doi.org/10.1177/15248399211013005