Entering the “Blogosphere”: What Messages Are Out There About Physical Activity?
This is the first time I’ve tried writing a blog—so welcome! And bear with me. It might take me a few attempts to hit my stride and get away from an academic style of writing.
I wanted to enter the “blogosphere” (I wonder if that’s made it into the Oxford English Dictionary yet?*), because I was looking for a more open forum where I could write about the issues that I think about all day—physical activity, health, and research. The Alberta Centre for Active Living kindly agreed to be my host.
What Are They Saying About Physical Activity? What I’m really interested in is how physical activity and exercise are represented. When you stop and think about it, there are representations of exercise everywhere. For example, the food marketers love to use pictures of exercisers in their ads. If you want to be healthy like this lovely woman doing yoga, then buying our yogurt is just the thing!
But how do these commercials influence us? (Besides, of course, getting us to run out to buy yogurt?) Do they get us thinking about exercise? And, if so, are these thoughts good or bad? We don’t really know, but it’s a big, scary, commercial marketing world out there. My research explores this issue. I guess I see this blog as my attempt to counter these commercial forces just a little by getting others to think about this issue too. Awareness is a very powerful thing!
I’m also a media junkie—my morning “fix” includes the online editions of the Globe and Mail, the New York Times and the CBC. I also sometimes go to magazines like Salon and Outside. I get all these on-line because I’d go broke if I subscribed to all of them! But most of these online sources have lots of articles available for free.
When I’m on these sites, I go straight to the health sections where I read articles that get me thinking. Sometimes I read stuff that gets my blood boiling! So, to spare my husband a soap-box rant about what I recently read or saw on TV, I figure I’ll get it out of my system in this blog.
(Students in my classes have sometimes been victims as well. The year “The Biggest Loser” show came out, my students were guaranteed a 10-minute rant on Wednesday mornings—the show aired Tuesday nights, and I watched it for “research purposes.”)
So—stay tuned! I’ve got a notepad at my elbow with a list of topics that I need to write about. Coming next: Fitness fads.
* Turns out, you can’t take the researcher out of the blog writer, so I checked—and yes, it is!
1. blogosphere n. (the blogosphere) informal personal websites and weblogs collectively.(From the Concise Oxford English Dictionary , on-line edition.)