Maria Hybholt

Maria Hybholt

Associate Professor

Primary fields of research

I study societal issues in relation to women's everyday life and physical activity - particularly with a focus on emotions, bodies, menopause, time pressure and health promotion. I am theoretically inspired by process sociology, sociology of emotions, sociology of the body and interactionism. I use qualitative methods (individual interviews, focus groups and observation) in my research. My research includes the following topics:

  • The significance of menopause for women's bodies and self-presentations.
  • Women's emotions and their management in relation to physical activity.     
  • Body ideals and embodiment through women's lives.      
  • The influence of health-promoting norms for women.
  • Time bind and management within women's everyday life

Current research

At the moment, I am working on three projects that align with our overall vision - to create a research center for menopause - Women in Healthy Transition (KISO):

KISO SURVEY: The challenges of menopause - a nationwide mixed method study. A PhD project that maps Danish women's menopause in relation to symptoms, quality of life and physical activity quantitatively, and qualitatively goes in depth with selected aspects. The project is financed by crowdfunding, Aase and Einar Danielsens Fonden and Absalon Fonden af 1. maj 1978.

KISO COHORT: Women in Healthy Transition. An interdisciplinary research project which examines women's menopause by following women before, during and after menopause. The project is financed by Sygesikring "danmark", 2021-2026.

The time-pressed everyday life – the importance of work, family and leisure for a physically active lifestyle among women. A micro sociological study that investigates how physical (in)activity affects the everyday life of middle-aged women. The project is financed by the Ministry of Culture, Denmark, 2018-2020.

I am a member of the research group Sociological Research in Sport and Exercise (SoRSE).


I teach and supervise within the field of social sciences of sport and related topics at bachelor's and master's level. Primarily within the following areas:

  • Sport, body and media (bachelor course) which introduces several sociological perspectives, including Elias, Foucault, Goffman and Lupton.
  • Microsociology (lectures at master's level)       
  • General introductory sports theories with sociological relevance
  • Qualitative methods

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Psychological and social health outcomes of physical activity around menopause: A scoping review of research

    Hybholt, Maria, 2022, In: Maturitas. 164, p. 88-97 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Exercise in the time bind of work and family. Emotion management of personal leisure time among middle-aged Danish women

    Hybholt, Maria, Ottesen, Laila Susanne & Thing, L. F., 2022, In: Leisure Studies. 41, 2, p. 231-246 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  3. Published

    The Civilized Bodies of Middle-Aged Women: A Qualitative Study of Participation in an Exercise Intervention in Denmark

    Hybholt, Maria, 2024, In: Journal of Aging and Physical Activity. 32, 3, p. 387–396 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  4. Published

    The rationalization of leisure time - the scarcity of emotional excitement in a health promoting exercise intervention for women

    Hybholt, Maria & Thing, L. F., 2019, In: Annals of Leisure Research. 22, 4, p. 532-549 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Middle Aged Men in Lycra and the performative irony of watching Tour de France

    Wagner, Ulrik, Frydendal, S. & Hybholt, Maria, 2023, In: Communication and Sport. 11, 6, p. 1102-1120

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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