Few researchers have explored perceptions of the local environment as a potential precursor to older adults’ active leisure participation; fewer still have employed visual research methods as a tool for examining the modalities of environmental influences on leisure behaviour. This article introduces leisure researchers to the visual research techniques of Q method with photographs and photovoice and highlights the opportunities and challenges resulting from the use of visual techniques with populations of older adults. Data obtained in two visual research studies undertaken in 2008 and 2011 reveal the importance of home and local environment as a nexus for leisure participation and identify conditions that may facilitate activity participation in later life. Environmental conditions that are particularly significant in the case of older adults include the home garden, natural and aesthetically pleasing settings, the local social network and functional neighbourhood facilities. Visual research methods were used to generate these findings. Such research methods provide rich and nuanced data in studies concerning environment-behaviour interactions, which may be difficult to attain using conventional research methods.
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