Understanding the Perceptions of Sedentary Behaviours from Residents and Stakeholders in the Tees Valley

  • Andrew Richardson

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


The rise and fall of the industry across Teesside is well documented alongside the issues of precarious work and post-industrial economies. However, what is not well explored is how the history of the area and the timeline set the foundations for the current health issues. These health problems are a concentration effect set by the geography that is based upon multiple variables which have created the environment for health inequalities and stigmas to manifest. The aim of this doctoral program was to understand the sociological barriers to leading a healthy and physically active lifestyle in the Tees Valley. This thesis is known as the “Tees Valley Effect” which is centred upon the high levels of sedentary behaviours, physical inactivity, health stigmas and perceptions of risks, obesogenic environments and ineffective active travel networks and policies.
The methodology was based on an inductive approach using the grounded theory and using a mixed methods design to generate a large sample of data. Utilising online questionnaires to both residents and stakeholders across the Tees Valley during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns, generated over 1300 responses. These responses and analyses highlighted significant quantitative results that show multiple variables impact total physical activity levels. Particularly prominent was among the female residents with 64.88% probability presenting with a low level of physical activity. Finally, irrespective of sex, Tees Valley residents are 41 x more likely to have a categorically low physical activity score compared to being highly active. From the qualitative data gathered and analysed using a thematic analyses approach, nine unique themes and 63 sub-themes across both groups were created. These themes covered a broad range of topics which revealed differences between residents’ and stakeholders’ experiences and observations to being physically active. The most prominent themes included barriers to being physically active, crime, air pollution, green spaces, and fast-food-outlets. Recommendations include supporting the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a quantitative sedentary behaviour guideline to reduce sitting times and suggestions for stakeholders to improve health outcomes for all residents.
Date of Award16 Feb 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Teesside University
SupervisorAnth Lloyd (Supervisor), Georgios Antonopoulos (Supervisor), Jonathan Emerson (Supervisor) & Georgios Papanicolaou (Supervisor)

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