Dr Rachel Hallett


Floor 6 Hunter Wing, St. George's Campus, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE

Title of study: An exploration using grounded theory method of how non-exercisers become regular exercisers. 

Information for participants 

You are being invited to take part in this study exploring how non-exercisers become regular exercisers. Please take time to read the following information and discuss with others if you wish. Also please ask me any questions: details below. This study is being carried out as part of my work as a postdoctoral researcher in the joint faculty of Kingston University and St George’s, University of London.

What is the purpose of the study?

I am doing this study to find out more about the reasons underlying why people sometimes do and sometimes don’t exercise regularly, and how they switch from not exercising to becoming a regular exerciser and vice versa. 

Aims and objectives / background

Many people struggle to stick with exercise programmes. Some people take up exercise, and continue with it for many years, while others stop and start, or stop altogether. It’s not understood why this is, and it’s likely there are lots of different factors interacting. There are some theories, but these have been found to have limitations, and this area needs further development to improve our understanding of exercise engagement. The method I’m using, Grounded Theory Method, starts with participants. Participants are considered to be the experts. By collecting lots of data from different people, the participants’ views contribute towards a theory which is grounded in the data that’s been collected. The researcher’s role is to examine all the data, finding where participants have similar thoughts and where they differ, to build the theory. 

Why have I been invited? 

You have been invited to take part because you have identified yourself as someone who has either started exercise having not exercised regularly before, or who has taken it up having not exercised for some time. I am looking to recruit enough people, with different exercise backgrounds, for a complete theory to emerge from my data – probably around 30 people. If more people than needed with your kind of exercise background agree to participate, I will try to represent as broad a range of experiences as I can with as few participants as I can to avoid inconveniencing anyone unnecessarily. 

Do I have to take part? 

It is entirely up to you to decide whether or not to take part. If you decide not to take part this will not affect any relationship or arrangement you have with me, the universities I represent, or with any other organisation that you might have heard about this study from. If you do take part you are free to withdraw at any time up to one month after the interview, without giving any reason and without any detriment to you. 

What will happen if I do take part?

You will be given an electronic copy of this information to keep and be asked to sign a consent form by typing in your name and emailing it back to me. The research involves you taking part in a one-to-one interview with me over the phone. The interview would last 30 minutes to an hour. I am interested in your thoughts and opinions on the subject of exercise take-up and lapses, and how they relate to your own experiences. The interview would be non-judgemental. Later in the study, I would email you some provisional findings from all the interviews which you would be able to comment on if you wished. There is no obligation to take part, and you would be able to withdraw prior to the interview taking place, during the interview, or up to one month afterwards. Beyond this point, findings may have been circulated, so it might not be possible to withdraw your data, although I would endeavour to do so. 

What are the possible benefits of taking part? 

There are no immediate benefits. However it is hoped that information from this study will help to gain a better insight into why people take up exercise and manage to exercise regularly, while others struggle to maintain an exercise programme. This will help develop initiatives to make regular exercise easier for people to stick with. 

What are the risks of taking part?

There are no anticipated risks in taking part. However some people may find talking about their experiences upsetting. If this happens, you can stop the interview and take a break at any time. You can decide whether you want to continue to participate, or if you would rather withdraw. If you suffer high levels of distress as a consequence of the interview, you should consult your GP as a first point of contact to access professional support services. 

Will my taking part in the study be kept confidential? 

Yes. We will follow ethical and legal practice and all information will be handled in confidence. Only the researcher and her supervisor will have access to the original data (the recording of your interview and the transcription of it which the researcher will produce). All the information gathered will be securely stored on a password protected computer and no names or contact details will be attached to the data files.

What will happen to the results of the study? 

I will write up my findings to submit to a suitable journal, and may also present them at conferences. You will not be identified in any way in any material that is presented. If you are quoted, I will ensure that you are given a pseudonym and that there is no information in the quote from which you might be identified. 

Who has reviewed this study? 

The study has been looked at by an independent group of people called the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education Research Ethics Committee to protect your safety, rights, and dignity. They have given a favourable opinion. 

What if I have a complaint?

If you wish to complain about any aspect of the research, please raise this with the Researcher. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, please contact the Dean of the Faculty, using the details given below. 

Contact Details of Dean: 

Professor Andy Kent


Researcher’s Contact Details:

Dr Rachel Hallett

Floor 6 Hunter Wing, St. George’s Campus, Cranmer Terrace, London SW17 0RE. 


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