Task:Title: Case study: ‘Jacob’s return to physical activity’
Setting the scene: For a variety of reasons, people often struggle to engage in health-related behaviours that would benefit a long and healthy life. In order to help people improve their health, exercise psychologists must have a good understanding of the possible influences affecting health behaviours. Developing the knowledge of theories, their appropriate application, and a variety of effective strategies to working with people is extremely important in this line
of work. This assignment provides an opportunity for students to draw on the knowledge gained throughout the module to apply the motivational, theoretical and practical elements to a real-life scenario. Task: This is a 2000-word (maximum limit) written essay assignment based upon a case study of ‘Jacob’. Early in the term, you will be introduced to the assignment, which requires you to write your essay, within four sections, based on the case study you will be given. Each of the section headings require you to apply exercise psychology knowledge you have gained through the module to some aspect of the case study. This is an excellent opportunity for you to show-off how you might use your acquired knowledge as an exercise psychologist. You will need to: Download a copy of the case study and study this carefully. Download a copy of the essay template which will have headings you need to address. You must complete your essay on this template. Read the requirements of each heading carefully, each of which will refer to the case study in some way and write solutions for each heading using the knowledge you have gained during the module. Submit the completed template as your essay attempt when you are satisfied with it. You will not need to write out a 2000-word continuous essay. Word counts are provided as a suggested maximum for each heading.
Suggested Initial Readings
Berger, B. G., Pargman, D. and Weinberg, R. S. (2007) Foundations of exercise psychology. 2nd ed. Morgantown, W.Va: Fitness Information Technology
Tenenbaum, G. & Eklund, R. (Eds.) (2018). Handbook of Sport Psychology. Fourth edition. Wiley books.
Weinberg, R. S. and Gould, D. (2015) Foundations of sport and exercise psychology. Sixth edition. Champaign, IL:Human Kinetics.
Zenko, Z. & Jones, L. (Eds.) (2021). Essentials of Exercise and Sport Psychology: An open access text book. Society for Transparency, Openness, and Replication in Kinesiology. https://doi.org/10.51224/B1000
SPO1024 2022/23 – Written Assignment
Case Study: Jacob’s return to physical activity
Jacob is a 55-year old man of African birth, married, with a family of two late-teenage children. He has lived in Britain for most of his life and worked for 10 years as a paramedic for which he studied at University. Jacob’s job meant that he was very active but he also maintained his health and fitness by running, cycling, strength training, and various activity challenges. Although he enjoys feeling fit and healthy and knows exercise is good for his health, his original purpose in keeping fit was to be a good role-model for his children and to be able to keep up with them as they grew up. It’s also really important that he enjoys the experience of exercise and has found that strength training in particular benefits his mental health. He is a quiet and somewhat introverted man but he is emotionally stable
scoring low on Neuroticism in a personality profile. He also scores high on Open-mindedness and Conscientiousness. He identifies himself as an active person and enjoys the sense of achievement he gets from overcoming a challenge, but competition with others is not important to him. He loves the excitement and pleasure he gets from outdoor adventure activities. About a year ago, Jacob experienced a back injury from having been assaulted as a paramedic on an emergency call. This resulted in an operation and time off work. His recovery from this was necessarily slow and he was instructed to do only gentle walking for 4 months. From this point, Jacob’s fitness declined, and he became demotivated and generally low in mood. His wife began making healthier meals and offered to go on longer walks with him during the evenings. Jacob believed he would eventually return to better fitness in the future, but he found it difficult to get going sometimes because the pain medication for his back made him quite drowsy and lethargic. Around 6 months after his operation, Jacob had reduced his medication and resumed his activities but was disappointed and alarmed at how much his fitness had declined, so he increased his volume of exercise quite quickly. He began to find this quite challenging and, two months later, his back pain
returned. So, he stopped his activities and became quite inactive again in the hope his back pain would
At 10 months post-op, Jacob was seeing the events his friends were doing through social media and began to miss doing them himself. His interest in strength training also returned from viewing videos on the internet, and he spent time researching exercises that would help his back and the kinds of activities he could do that would be least likely to hurt his back again. A friend invited him to do an adventure challenge several months in the future, and although he was anxious about his back pain returning, he began his activities again, introducing bodyweight training after 4 weeks and focusing his strength training on good technique and mindfulness. Whilst his back injury appears to have now settled, Jacob has just changed his job, which is much more sedentary. After work he often feels tired and lethargic when he comes home, so now he sometimes struggles to be as active as he should. Jacob’s wife and children have noticed his physical and psychological presentation has improved though and often commend his efforts. He keeps in touch with his friends about their activities and sometimes discusses his own progress on social media. Jacob is keen to experience the enjoyment of doing outdoor activities and challenges again.