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Exploring the social side of CrossFit: a qualitative study

Exploring the social side of CrossFit: a qualitative study The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore and describe the social environment of CrossFit®.Design/methodology/approachA total of 6 focus groups (n = 48) and 16 interviews were held with CrossFit® participants, coaches and owners. Each focus group or interview was facilitated by trained members of the research team. After data collection was complete, four trained researchers analyzed transcriptions using an open coding method to derive themes from responses, followed by inter-rater reliability checks to ensure consistency in data analysis.FindingsFive themes emerged including: support (the social capital community members received from others through CrossFit®, including encouragement, coaching and accountability); culture (describes how CrossFit® as a community embraces a variety of skill levels and members experience a sense of camaraderie, acceptance and shared goals); social aspect (ways CrossFit® incorporates and extends community through a welcoming environment and fostering relationships building); competition (competing with others and oneself at CrossFit® is key to motivation and success at the gym); and barriers to community (ways CrossFit® can at times be intimidating).Practical implicationsAlthough exploratory, this study suggests the importance of CrossFit®’s social environment for a participant’s experience. Future research could determine how relationships within CrossFit® relate to health outcomes.Originality/valueThis research is original and important to the field of mental health as it explores how CrossFit® can be leveraged as a strategy to promote social inclusion. CrossFit® provides an environment that promotes healthy habits such as community involvement and exercise. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health and Social Inclusion Emerald Publishing

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References (36)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-8308
eISSN
2042-8308
DOI
10.1108/mhsi-08-2020-0051
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore and describe the social environment of CrossFit®.Design/methodology/approachA total of 6 focus groups (n = 48) and 16 interviews were held with CrossFit® participants, coaches and owners. Each focus group or interview was facilitated by trained members of the research team. After data collection was complete, four trained researchers analyzed transcriptions using an open coding method to derive themes from responses, followed by inter-rater reliability checks to ensure consistency in data analysis.FindingsFive themes emerged including: support (the social capital community members received from others through CrossFit®, including encouragement, coaching and accountability); culture (describes how CrossFit® as a community embraces a variety of skill levels and members experience a sense of camaraderie, acceptance and shared goals); social aspect (ways CrossFit® incorporates and extends community through a welcoming environment and fostering relationships building); competition (competing with others and oneself at CrossFit® is key to motivation and success at the gym); and barriers to community (ways CrossFit® can at times be intimidating).Practical implicationsAlthough exploratory, this study suggests the importance of CrossFit®’s social environment for a participant’s experience. Future research could determine how relationships within CrossFit® relate to health outcomes.Originality/valueThis research is original and important to the field of mental health as it explores how CrossFit® can be leveraged as a strategy to promote social inclusion. CrossFit® provides an environment that promotes healthy habits such as community involvement and exercise.

Journal

Mental Health and Social InclusionEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 15, 2020

Keywords: Social support; Qualitative; High-intensity functional training

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