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Table 3 Observational categories

From: Have adults lost their sense of play? An observational study of the social dynamics of physical (in)activity in German and Hawaiian leisure settings

Primary observational categories Explanation
Physical activity level of group Observed physical activity behaviour of all members of a group. We recorded all observed aspects concerning physical activity and inactivity. Furthermore, we differentiated between ‘very active’/‘moderately active’/‘rather passive, sometimes in the water, with a maximum of two short active exceptions’/and ‘extremely passive’.
Research setting Champagne Pond or Entringen Pool
Gender composition of group Male only/female only/mixed
Combination of group concerning age Concerning age, we differentiated between ‘children’/‘adolescents’/‘young adulthood’/‘middle adulthood’/and ‘seniors’.
Combination of group concerning body shape Concerning body shape, we differentiated between ‘lean, normal-weight, and slightly overweight’/‘clearly overweight’/and ‘athletic’.
Group size In this category, we differentiated between small groups including two or three members/middle size including four or five members/large groups including six or more.
Additional equipment We observed whether groups had equipment such as chairs, sun loungers, barbecues, cooling boxes, sunshades, etc. or not.
Communication level within group We observed the verbal communication of group members, e.g. loud or quiet. Moreover, we differentiated between frequent and lively verbal communication between most group members/occasional verbal communication/almost no verbal communication among group members.
Food and drinking behaviour We recorded whether groups brought food and drinks to the sites.
Secondary observational categories Explanation
Design of resting site We observed, how groups organised their resting site, for example how they arranged their equipment, how they furnished their site etc.
Figurations We observed in-/out-group constellations, age combinations at the site and group compositional changes.
Social contagion In this context, we looked at the spread of activity within groups and between groups.
Area of rest and movement We observed where members of groups spent the majority of their time resting and the other areas they moved to.
Promoting physical activity We used this category for coding all factors which appeared to promote physical activity.
Hindering physical activity We used this category for coding all factors which hindered physical activity.