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From tribes to treadmills: a case study of attitudes surrounding physical activity and gym use among a cohort of Bedouin women users in an all-female gym

Mitgang, Elizabeth (2013) From tribes to treadmills: a case study of attitudes surrounding physical activity and gym use among a cohort of Bedouin women users in an all-female gym. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The twenty-first century marks an epoch of global urbanization—the transition from a rural, geographic locality to a population dense environment. Once a semi-nomadic people of the Negev Desert, the Bedouin population in Israel is not exempt from such processes of development, evident in the government sedentarization project beginning in 1965. Modernist, urban planning executed during the construction of the Bedouin towns was aimed at replicating Jewish towns, and in turn had an impact on issues of female modesty and intra-tribal tensions. Bedouin women, in particular, experience the effects of such an acute lifestyle transition due to
their role as females in a patriarchal society among a minority population. In an attempt to preserve modesty, Bedouin women face an impediment on mobility in the town environment due to the close proximity of unrelated tribes relocated into the same town. Due to the inherent challenge regarding female modesty, restrictions on mobility and independence limit a woman’s
opportunity to perform leisure time physical activity, despite the presence of proper infrastructure: sidewalks and green spaces. As a result, a temporal correlation exists between the sedentarization project and increased levels of obesity-related chronic disease in the town, with women experiencing higher rates of these diseases than men. The relationship between the built
environment and physical activity is a new research focus at the crossroads of urban planning and public health. Literature addressing the relationship between the built environment and physical activity in Muslim populations is limited, and almost nonexistent for Bedouin society. A survey distributed in an all-women’s gym, Al Najach Gym Hall, in Rahat, Israel served to capture the demographics and attitudes surrounding physical activity and gym use in a female Bedouin cohort (28 subjects) of gym users, and to assess their perceived barriers to healthy lifestyle behavior. The results of this modest qualitative survey will establish a foundation for future research aimed at improving infrastructure and policy toward healthy lifestyle practices
related to physical activity.


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Details

Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
Creators/Authors:
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mitgang, Elizabethmitgang25@gmail.com
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Kramer, M Kayemkk3@pitt.edu MKK3
Glass, Michaelglass@pitt.eduGLASS
Kriska, Andrea MKriskaA@edc.pitt.eduAKY
Dinero, StevenDineroS@philau.edu
Date: 3 September 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 June 2013
Approval Date: 3 September 2013
Submission Date: 8 August 2013
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 66
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: University Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bedouin Health Urbanization Gym
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2013 16:18
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:14
URI: http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19594

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