Workplace physical activity: theory, policy and practice

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This chapter explores how workplaces have come to figure as a site for concerted efforts to effect physical activity through the guise of organisational wellness programmes. Historically, industrial work organisations provided access to recreational opportunities for employees within the confines of the workplace. However, contemporary discourses of organisational wellness are founded on the promotion of a health and fitness rationality which corresponds with the production of disciplined, self-regulating working bodies. Drawing on notions of governmentality, self-governance and active citizenship, the chapter illustrates how organisational wellness has been carved out of a host of seemingly disparate, discontinuous and fragmented discourses of work, organisation, leisure and health into a relatively coherent, unitary medicalised discourse. Drawing on a short case study from one wellness provider for illustration, the chapter explores the intended outcomes, the practices and the issues of promoting physical activity in workplaces and reflects upon the tensions inherent in organisational schemes, such as those between compulsion and volunteerism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Physical Activity Policy and Practice
EditorsJoe Piggin, Louise Mansfield, Mike Weed
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315672779
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2017


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