A mixed methods approach to investigate weightbased reactions and discriminative incidents within a gym environment. Specifically targeted to people with overweight or obesity: A proposed study
Stigmatising incidents – specifically towards a person’s weight - are apparent worldwide including the workplace, healthcare settings and in fitness environments. To date, there is a vast amount of evidence investigating the impact weight stigma has towards exercise adherence of overweight and obese participants. However, there is little research regarding what procedures could be implemented to alleviate inactivity in this population. The proposed study intends to use a mixed methods approach using analysis from quantitative surveys to determine the presence of stigma within a gym environment. It will also analyse information gathered from qualitative semi-structured interviews about what could be implemented within fitness facilities to allow for a more comfortable experience. Participants will be selected from a funded NHS weight management programme which is run within fitness centres across Edinburgh. The criterion for the study is that the participants have a Body Mass Index of 25> and have attended a gym at least once in their lifetime. The hypothesis of theproposed study is that the findings will align with previous research highlighting the need for additional measures to be put in place to reduce stigmatic experiences. The need for extra resources to allow for higher numbers of physical activity attendance in overweight and obese individuals may also emerge.