Promotion of Physical Activities among Underprivileged Populations: Researcher’s Discomforts during the Fieldwork.

Anne Morillon, Arine Kassabian, Stéphane Héas


In 2010, the WHO announced that a sedentary lifestyle, through its impact on health and association with non-communicable chronic diseases, is the fourth global risk factor of mortality. As a result of this alert, France established its first national plan for encouraging physical activity (PA) in 2012. People in precarious social positions are known for being physically inactive and also having unhealthy eating habits, which further increases the risk of chronic diseases. Rooted in this context, this interventional research in health promotion is based on a program of interventions, also known as a “complex system of actions” coordinated by the IREPS Bretagne. The program targets two territories (urban and rural) in the French department of Ille-et-Vilaine and aims to promote the practice of PA among people in precarious situations who also have a sedentary lifestyle. The researchers were highly involved in the fieldwork. They welcomed the progress of the program with enthusiasm, while emphasizing the points of vigilance. This article is the meeting point of two mutually-enriching reflections: the eventual contribution of the sociologists to a normalization of behaviour like moral entrepreneurs, and the way in which this particular emotion, discomfort, participated in the data-production process during the fieldwork.

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