Understanding Action and Adventure Sports Participation—An Ecological Dynamics Perspective

Tuomas Immonen*, Eric Brymer, Dominic Orth, Keith Davids, Francesco Feletti, Jarmo Liukkonen, Timo Jaakkola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Previous research has considered action and adventure sports using a variety of associated terms and definitions which has led to confusing discourse and contradictory research findings. Traditional narratives have typically considered participation exclusively as the pastime of young people with abnormal characteristics or personalities having unhealthy and pathological tendencies to take risks because of the need for thrill, excitement or an adrenaline ‘rush’. Conversely, recent research has linked even the most extreme forms of action and adventure sports to positive physical and psychological health and well-being outcomes. Here, we argue that traditional frameworks have led to definitions, which, as currently used by researchers, ignore key elements constituting the essential merit of these sports. In this paper, we suggest that this lack of conceptual clarity in understanding cognitions, perception and action in action and adventure sports requires a comprehensive explanatory framework, ecological dynamics which considers person-environment interactions from a multidisciplinary perspective. Action and adventure sports can be fundamentally conceptualized as activities which flourish through creative exploration of novel movement experiences, continuously expanding and evolving beyond predetermined environmental, physical, psychological or sociocultural boundaries. The outcome is the emergence of a rich variety of participation styles and philosophical differences within and across activities. The purpose of this paper is twofold: (a) to point out some limitations of existing research on action and adventure sports; (b) based on key ideas from emerging research and an ecological dynamics approach, to propose a holistic multidisciplinary model for defining and understanding action and adventure sports that may better guide future research and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalSports Medicine - Open
Volume3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Creative Behaviour
  • Ecological Dynamic
  • Sociocultural Practice
  • Task Constraint
  • Task Goal

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    Immonen, T., Brymer, E., Orth, D., Davids, K., Feletti, F., Liukkonen, J., & Jaakkola, T. (2017). Understanding Action and Adventure Sports Participation—An Ecological Dynamics Perspective. Sports Medicine - Open, 3, 1-7. [18]. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-017-0084-1