Monday, 10 October 2011

Blog 3/6 Affordances

Blog 3: Affordances

I guess my understanding of affordance is that the environment that surrounds us affords different actions and behaviours, so the environment determines what/how I do my run and this could be limiting or enhancing. Dunton, Berrigan, Ballard-Barbash, Graubard & Atienza (2009) researched the effects of the physical environment and running and found that the duration of exercise was greater when exercising outdoors than exercising indoors. I can relate to this as I can definitely run better outside as the footpath is easier to run on and the fresh air feels better than stagnant gym air.

Affordance & Spirituality:

There are many interpretations of spirituality and spirituality can mean different things to different people. For me spirituality comes from within, it lives in me, you and people who have passed, I find spirituality in the environment and any living organism. Therefore connectedness brings about spirituality for me, feeling connected to a person or the environment and while running I feel both connected to the environment and to people as you can see in my journal entry below:

I am nearing the end of my run and I feel like giving up, my legs are tight and my lungs breathless. I try to think of ways to inspire myself to keep me going, at the moment I have been writing names of people that inspire me on my arm before I leave for my run. Today I have my Nana’s name on my arm and so I begin to think of her, I can hear her voice “Don’t give up Sarah; I know you can do this” so I push myself for a further 8 minutes.”

When I run I feel spiritually connected to my Nana I feel like her spirit keeps me going when I feel like giving up. I can feel her presence in my atmosphere and the environment I am in when running allows me to experience this connection.


Burkhardt MA (1989) Spirituality: an analysis of the concept. Holistic Nursing Practice 3, 69–77.

Dunton, G., Berrigan, D., Ballard-Barbash, R., Graubard, B., & Atienza, A. (2009). Environmental influences on exercise intensity and duration in a U.S. time use study. Medicine & Science in Sports Exercise, 41(9), 1698-1705. Doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a06c9b


  1. Hi Sarah
    I really enjoyed reading this post and understanding your take on can be a rather ambiguous term but the way you have described it in connection to your Nana really makes sense to me :) I wonder if you have reflected on how feeling spiritually connected to your Nana through running makes you feel i.e. what feelings or emotions this affords you?

    Anna :)

  2. Hi there Anna,
    Glad you enjoyed the post and my thoughts on spirituality.
    Hmmm deep question!? haha
    Well I guess the feelings/emotions I experience are around inspiration and empowerment as Nana was such a strong person who never complained about pain, so when I am running and get a tight muscle and want to walk I can picture Nana's face and she would have a smile on her face, she would think I was soft. these connections inspire me to push on and reach my goals. I have to work pretty hard to get to the point where it hurts so much that I want to quit, but knowing that I feel close to Nana at these stages gives me some enjoyment and inspiration to reach these points.

    Thanks for your post I shall return the favour soon :-)

  3. Wow Sarah! Love your view of spirituality & the strong connection you have with your nana which makes running so meaningful to you :)This knowledge/understanding will be a great tool for you to have as an OT, don't you think? It's really made me reflect my own spirituality & what this means to me - because after's the core of being human :)