An Exercise on Casual and Systematic Observation
Kristiane Arao Loyola, 2005-51386 MA Developmental Psychology
Medical professionals would always remind us that to stay healthy, one must have the right amount of sleep, of balanced diet and engage into exercise. Causing as much as an estimated 3.2 million deaths around the world, physical inactivity has been identified as one of the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. According to the World Health Organization, physical activity of moderate intensity, such as walking, cycling or participating in sports, if done on a regular basis, significantly benefits the health of an individual. Opportunities for exercise seem endless as a myriad of interesting physical activities such as yoga, martial arts, biking, swimming and running are very much beyond reach to people especially those in the urban area. One of those exercises, opted by many, is jogging. Jogging is fairly simple and has the minimum requirements. In the Philippines, jogging is a form of physical activity that is commonly engaged in by people of both genders and of various ages. To the researcher’s consciousness, jogging is a part of the culture of the University of the Philippines (UP), hidden to the general public. The academic oval of the university is closed during weekends for motorists to give way to joggers as well as enthusiasts of different sports such as biking, skating and roller blades. The researcher was interested to know the profile of joggers in UP and take a look at their behavior, specifically on what seemed important or essential for joggers and their motivations for jogging. To explore deeper into the curiosity, casual observation was done by the researcher at two dates, namely on December 9, 2012 and December 19, 2012. At the first day of casual observation, the researcher tried to identify those which were observable of joggers such as eye direction, running strides, accessories brought by joggers, gender, age bracket and body type. Joggers, by observation, bring along with them different kinds of accessories. Thus, essentials for jogging may be perceived differently by each person. This spurred the curiosity of the researcher to know what was deemed essentials by joggers. During the first casual observation, it was also interesting to note that joggers had matching shoes and outfits. The research was interested to know whether fashion was a motivation for joggers or is it the other way around. Do joggers take note of what they wear, even at a physical exercise where they would get sweaty? Or is it because of the concept of ‘social desirability’, that one takes note of what he or she wears to be deemed acceptable by the society. More so, the act of jogging could already mean that one is health-conscious. One of the assumptions of the Health Belief Model is that people do health related actions because they think they can avoid a negative health condition. In this light, the researcher was interested to know whether which gender is more likely to be health conscious. However, the researcher needed to confirm the perception or conscious understanding of people if they are really being health-conscious since they are jogging through surveys or questionnaires. On the second day of casual observation (December 19, 2012), the researcher tried to make a checklist of what could be observed from the joggers. The researcher could not observe a jogger at the full length of his or her jogging time but only during at which the jogger passed by the researcher. Since each jogger could only be observed with a fraction of a minute, only a few observable behavior could be recorded. At the most, one could take note of the gender, body type,...