Transition to university is associated with reduced engagement in physical activity (PA), with students’ PA influenced by many individual and contextual factors. The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is one such factor. COVID-19 has disrupted our relationships with our bodies and with others, our sense of time, and the spaces in which we live and work, resulting in reductions in PA. Based on data gathered through a phenomenological photovoice study conducted between June and December of 2020 with nine Australian university students, and informed by phenomenological writing on the uncanny, we explored how the experience of COVID-19 transformed students’ lived experience of PA. PA offered students a pathway through the uncanny experience of COVID-19 by affording a way to (re)engage with others, (re)connect with spaces, make gains despite the losses, and recognise and appreciate moments of joy and reflection. This study provides novel insights that can be used to support students to meaningfully (re)engage in PA.
- physical activity
- qualitative research