Physically active leisure and the transition to retirement: the value of context

Toni Liechty, M. Rebecca Genoe, Hannah R. Marston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this paper is to explore the everyday experiences of physically active leisure during the transition to retirement. Twenty-five adults aged 47–66 who were recently retired or nearing retirement blogged during three different two-week sessions over one year and participated in follow up focus groups. Data were analysed using initial, focused, and selective coding. Findings provided insights into participants’ experiences of physically active leisure in the context of their everyday lives. First, increased freedom in daily schedules led to both appreciation for spontaneity and a desire for structure. Second, participants experienced new constraints related to the loss of social networks and work-related physical activity. Finally, participants described physically active leisure as being connected to meaningful outcomes such as enjoying the outdoors, stress-relief, or socializing with family and friends. Physically active leisure was described as one health priority among many and one of several healthy leisure alternatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Ageing
  • older adults
  • online qualitative research methods
  • physically active leisure
  • retirement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Cultural Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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