Publication Details

Laverty, J. & Wright, J. (2010) Going to the gym: the new urban ‘it’ space, in J. Wright, J. & D. Macdonald (eds), Young people, physical activity and the everyday, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 42-55


At a time of increasing hype about the health consequences of obesity, it is unsurprising that ‘going to the gym’ has become increasingly popular amongst most age groups. Tailored children’s gyms for the 8 to 14 year olds are being established in some western countries as the new antidote for childhood obesity. Such developments illustrate Fusco’s (2007: 46) point that urban spaces are increasingly subjected to ‘neoliberal ideologies of healthism, active living and consumerism’ and reflect the overlays and interactions between health and space in neo-liberal cities. At the same Fusco suggests young people’s health geographies are missing from current depictions of life in the city, while van Ingen (2003) also draws attention to the need to better ‘narrate’ notions of identity and the practices that normalize particular health discourses in the physical activity context.

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