The history and organization of fitness exercise in Norway and Denmark
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Artikler / Articles 
Original versionSport in Society. 2010, 13(4), 609-624
This essay examines the development and organization of fitness exercise within Scandinavia in the latter half of the twentieth century. Based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data from Denmark and Norway, contemporary differences in the distribution and organization of fitness exercise in these two countries are identified. Compared to Norway, Denmark has a relatively weakly developed for-profit fitness sector, combined with a strong tradition for fitness exercise within the non-profit sector. The relative conceptual and organizational openness of the non-profit Danish gymnastics tradition and the adaptive work conducted by for-profit fitness entrepreneurs in Norway in the 1990s are presented as conditions that have led to this situation. The essay thus concludes that even though the Scandinavian welfare states share many overall national characteristics and values, the conditions for the introduction and development of new exercise forms differ, and must be studied specifically in relation to their national context.
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