Friday, 21 October 2011

Comments and References

Comments on Other Class Members Blogs:

References Used Throughout my Blog:
Arend, H. (1958). The human condition. Chicago: Chicago University Press

Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. (2004). Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Creek, J., & Lawson-Porter, A. (Eds.). (2007). Contemporary Issues in Occupational Therapy. Chichester. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Health and Physical Education Online. (2010). Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum. Retrieved from on the 08/09/2011.

 Landers, D. (2000). The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health. Retrieved from on the 09/09/2011.

Pheasant (1986), Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and Design.

Practical Considerations

Practical considerations influence how we engage in our activities or occupations. It is the supply of objects or tools necessary to effectively perform and engage in our occupations (Christiansen & Townsend,2004).
Everyone who engages in any activity needs to be aware of practical considerations. Practical considerations has the ability to hinder our performance and engagement in an activity. For example, I was off to the gym as it was raining outside, so I decided I just wasn't in the mood to set off for a run in the cold rain. I took a look down at myself, I had my socks, running shoes, exercise shorts, a singlet and jacket for after the gym so I didn't get too cold. I myself looked prepared. So on the way to my car I quickly grabbed a towel and my ipod. However this was my mistake, I arrived at the gym and began pedaling on the exercise bike, pedaling in time to the song playing through my ipod. I move on to the cross trainer, and that's when I take a proper look at my ipod and realise its on red alert for battery. I begin to panic and go very fast on the cross trainer, as I know I only have a little time left before my ipod runs out of battery. Not checking the level of battery on my ipod was a practical consideration, I did not take into consideration in this instance. I rely very heavily on my ipod when exercising and if my ipod runs out of battery I stop exercising. My ipod motivates me to exercise, and I must consider this factor when engaging in exercise.

Christiansen, C. & Townsend, E. (2004). Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living. New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Ambience is defined as "the atmosphere of a place" (Collins English Dictionary, 2003). I interpret ambience as the mood or feelings a particular environment can give you.
In terms of exercise, the ambience it gives me varies depending on what exercise I am doing and where I am doing it. Throughout this post I will compare the ambience when firstly; exercising at the gym and secondly the ambience when walking on the river bank.
It's a Wednesday morning, a morning where I don't have a class to go to, so decide I have no excuse to not go the gym. On arrival at the gym I put my bag into a locker and quickly scan the room to see how busy it is. They gym always has a hot stuffy feel to it, not a feeling that I particularly like. Music is playing across the speakers in the room, however like always, I quickly put my ipod speakers in (so I am able to zone out). I select the exercise bike and begin pedaling while listening to my 'exercise playlist' on my ipod. I start to look around the room, at the other women's faces, I notice that no one is smiling or looking particularly happy. All women in the gym are on their 'individual missions', very much consumed in what they are doing and ultimately getting it done.
This ambience of individual missions is in complete contrast to the ambience of exercise when walking on the river bank.
I decide after being in a class room all day, a walk on the river bank with my dog, Frieda is exactly what I need. So off we walk, me and Frieda on our usual 4km river bank loop. It is a loop we are both familiar with, so familiar that I let Frieda off the lead so she can roam freely. The air is crisp and I breathe it in, appreciating every breath of fresh air. The river, the trees and the grass all different shades of vibrant greens. These greens give me a sense of peace and stillness. The ambience of the river bank is a calm, peaceful one. An ambience which I love.

Collins English Dictionary. (2003). HarperCollins Publisher. Retrieved from on the 21/10/2011.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Exercise, Labour or Work?

This posting will be based around a discussion we had in our tutorial class.  Hilary asked each of us to categorise our selected activity as either work or labour. I understand labour as an activity or duty essential for us to survive; "Labour is the activity which corresponds to the biological process of the human body"(Arendt, 1958). In contrast to this, I identify work as an activity selected by an individual, however one that is not essential to survive: "Work is the activity which corresponds to the unnaturalness of human existence" (Arendt, 1958).
 Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs identifies labour as a need (see diagram below).

After seeing Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs and definitions of work and labour, I would define exercise as work. I see exercise as work as it is not essential for survival, it is something I choose to partake in.
 Although I have identified exercise as work, this does not make it any less significant than labour. Exercise is able to provide me with many benefits; some of these benefits are identified on Maslow's Pyramid such as; fresh air while exercising (biological and physiological needs), achievement (esteem needs), meaning (cognitive needs), form (aesthetic needs) and self fulfilment (self - actualisation).

Arend, H. (1958). The human condition. Chicago: Chicago University Press

Monday, 17 October 2011


Ergonomics is defined as "the scientific study of human beings in relation to their working environments" Pheasant (1986). The main factors of ergonomics include the interrelationships of person, environment and occupation/ the activities an individual engages in. It is vital as occupational therapist's we take time to consider these three aspects with each individual clients, and acknowledge how each aspect relates and effects the other.
Ergonomics effects the way I participate in my activity of exercise drastically, for example after breaking my ankle two years ago, I have to be more considerate of the exercise I choose to partake in due to my previous injury. If I wake up and my ankle is feeling sore, I would not choose to go for a run and this causes heavy impact onto my ankle, however, I would choose something of lesser impact such as yoga or going on the cross trainer. Environment also plays a large part a significant part in the engagement of physical activity for myself. If it is freezing outside I find it much harder to motivate myself in participating in an outdoor activity, or if it is hot outside, I would choose to not be indoors at a gym and instead enjoy the fresh air and sun. People within the environment impacts my engagement in exercise also, I find participating in team sports extremely motivating as it helps me push harder due to a sense of responsibility I have not only for myself but the others in my team. Overall, I would categorise exercise as work rather than labour. Work is defined as requiring self investment, skill, craft and personal judgement, work is purposeful and meaningful Creek & Lawson-Porter (2007). I believe this is particularly relevant to exercise as physical activity requires skill, craft and personal judgement. I also identify exercise as being personally meaningful.

 Creek, J., & Lawson-Porter, A. (Eds.). (2007). Contemporary Issues in Occupational Therapy. Chichester. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Pheasant (1986), Bodyspace: Anthropometry, Ergonomics and Design.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Affordances Post

This posting will be based around the topic of affordance in relation to my occupation. This topic will be divided into three sub topics; communications, connection and finally ethics.
Please note: that this blog posting will be based around - going to the gym (this is to ensure my posting is specific enough to the concepts around affordances).
Communications in regards to going to the gym is limited as there is no verbal communication, however there is a great deal of non verbal communication (exercising) between myself and the gym equipment. This non verbal communication is the most significant form of communication.
The relationship of this is somewhat of an individual one, the main reason I attend the gym is to take care of myself - both mentally and physically. However there are other relationships I need to consider, this is the relationship of the environment and the people in the environment. I care for the equipment by making sure I wipe it down after i sue each piece and I care for the other people at they gym by ensuring I am not on the equipment for too long at peak gym times.
Connection to portray connection in relation to going to the gym i have wrote a poem;
This is the gym called Contours.
This the gym I exercise in called Contours.
These are the shoes that I wear when I exercise in the gym called Contours.
This is the dirt that are on the shoes that I wear when I exercise in the gym called Contours.
Ethics, in relation to going to the gym can be divided into four sections; burdens, joy, good and the bad.
Burdens in relation to going to the gym is having to drive distances to get to and from the gym, money i pay to go to the gym, finding a car park. There are many joys i get from going to the gym these include; a feeling of total well being, the enjoyment of using and moving my own body and finally the joy of achieving and accomplishing. While the bad only includes; muscle aches and having to wash my hair after exercising.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Exercise - A Mindful Overview

This post will be based around three different concepts around exercise; my experience with it, what exercise means to me and finally how the significance of this activity will effect my practice with clients as a future occupational therapists.
My experience with exercise has been a vast and long one. Exercise has been constantly in my environment from as young as I can remember with my dad being NZ kickboxing champion and my mum a marathon runner, I have been influenced to be active an incorporate daily exercise into my every day life. My personal experience with exercise includes; athletics, dancing, cross country running, netball, kickboxing, walking, attending the gym and yoga. Exercise has helped me develop peer relationships, learn co operation, appreciate success, learn technique, apply theory (kinesiology) to physical exercise and finally relax myself allowing me to feel good about myself and sleep well.
Exercise on a personal level means; gaining achievements, making my family proud, allowing me to spending time with my family and friends while participating in this activity, feeling good about myself, creating total well being (Hauora - Maori Model of Health) and finally I find exercising relaxing.
How I would use exercise as an Occupational Therapist would include; Using exercise to create meaningful occupation whether it be working with clients who present with mental illnesses as exercise has been proven to be an effective strategy for those with mood disorders. Evidence has now been established to support the claim that exercise is related to positive mental health as indicated by relief in symptoms of depression and anxiety (Landers, 2000). Alternatively, I would use exercise as a part of a model of total well being such as Hauora. Hauora is a Māori philosophy of health unique to New Zealand. It comprises Taha Tinana (physical wellbeing), Taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), Taha whanau (social wellbeing), and Taha wairua (spirtual wellbeing) (Health and Physical Education Online, 2010). This model would be particularly successful when working with the Moari community. This is a model I can strongly identify with. Other ways exercise could be effective when working with clients is to create; good sleep hygiene, develop daily/weekly schedules and finally goal setting.

Health and Physical Education Online. (2010). Health and Physical Education in the New Zealand Curriculum. Retrieved from on the 08/09/2011.

Landers, D. (2000). The Influence of Exercise on Mental Health. Retrieved from on the 09/09/2011.