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Female International Students Experiences With Physical Activity on UBC Campus Stevens, Allison; Larsen, Evangeline; Bailey, Makenna; Kamalian, Sahba; Marconato, Dante 2020-04-02

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UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Sustainability Program Student Research Report         Female International Students Experiences With Physical Activity on UBC Campus Allison Stevens, Evangeline Larsen, Makenna Bailey, Sahba Kamalian, Dante Marconato University of British Columbia KIN 464 Themes: Community, Health, Wellbeing Date: Apr 2, 2020       Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS Sustainability Program provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student research project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore, readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Sustainability Program representative about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.        KIN 464 Health Promotion and Physical Activity  Final Report  Female International Students Experiences With Physical Activity on UBC Campus           Group #13 Allison Stevens   Evangeline Larsen Makenna Bailey Sahba Kamalian Dante Marconato    Date: April 2nd, 2020    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   Physical activity (PA) has proven time and time again to have countless positive effects on our health (World Health Organization, 2018). The literature shows that many populations, such as university students, are not engaging in enough PA and therefore are not reaping the benefits (Böke, Mills, Mettler & Heath, 2019). Within the university student population, evidence shows that female international students are a specific subset of this population with some of the lowest PA rates (Lovell et al., 2010). This study aims to understand some of the factors that relate to why this specific population has lower PA participation rates. It also offers evidence-based suggestions as to how these low PA rates can be increased. This mixed methods study looked at common barriers participants face, gaps in programming, and key areas for improvement. This study was conducted with an anonymous Qualtrics survey link that was posted on multiple Facebook groups and pages. Participants were able to complete the survey on their own time. The survey consisted of six questions, both qualitative and quantitative. All participants were individuals who self-identified as female and who had moved from outside of Canada to attend UBC. First, the survey looked specifically at the number of days in a week that participants engaged in PA. Next it looked at how much individuals thought a variety of common barriers, such as financial and accessibility barriers, affected their participation in PA on campus. The final questions of the survey allowed individuals a space to contribute any recommendations they had to improve the PA environment on UBC campus. Results showed that “inclusivity” had the highest average score for barriers. It also yielded many anecdotal responses with important key words such as “unwelcoming” and “too crowded”. These results provided us with evidence that led to the following five recommendations aimed to improve the current PA environment for female international students at UBC. Our first recommendation is that UBC Recreation offers classes in Mandarin and other common foreign languages. This will allow individuals who may speak English as a second language to participate in PA activities in a more comfortable setting. Our second recommendation is that UBC Recreation offers a variety of female only fitness classes. These will address the gender stereotypes that many PA settings have. Our third recommendation is that promotion of UBC Recreation programs be more heavily focused on the beginner and entry-level programs. This will allow students to increase their awareness around programs that are accessible to all abilities. This was an issue highlighted in the data collection. Our fourth recommendation is that UBC residences provide access to personal trainers on-site in the residences. This will allow students easy access to a fitness outlet in a familiar setting. Our final recommendation is that UBC Recreation strives towards building a permanent female-only gym facility. This would allow a safe and comfortable space for females to exercise while also increasing the number of PA facilities on campus. Further research should be done to see how to best implement these recommendations. However they provide a foundation for improvement of the PA environment at UBC.       INTRODUCTION & LITERATURE REVIEW  It is widely understood that regular participation in physical activity (PA) can significantly benefit one’s health and wellbeing as well as reduce the risk of diseases such as hypertension, cancer and diabetes (World Health Organization, 2018). Additionally, PA has been shown to positively benefit one’s mental health, such as decreasing symptoms of depression and anxiety, due to an increased resilience against stress in one’s life (Hegberg & Tone, 2014). During university, studies show that it is common for students to experience elevated stress levels and therefore, experience negative physical and psychological outcomes (Böke, Mills, Mettler & Heath, 2019). Therefore, regular participation in PA is of utmost importance in order to positively influence both physical and mental health, especially during one’s university years.   The following terms that will be addressed throughout this project include physical activity (PA), wellbeing, and international student status. The World Health Organization (2018) defines physical activity as movements of the body produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. These movements can include work, play, recreation, household activities, or travel activities. Wellbeing is a holistic concept that encompasses both the physical and mental health of a person and includes a person’s satisfaction with life, sense of fulfillment, as well as overall positive functioning (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). The different aspects of wellbeing include physical, emotional, economic, social, and psychological factors, which have all been touched on in this project.  Our definition of international student, in the context of this project, is any student who has moved to UBC from outside of Canada to attend university for any duration of time, ranging from one semester to a full four years, or more.  According to Yan & Cardinal (2013), international students tend to have the lowest PA participation levels when compared to domestic students. Specifically, female international students have shown participation rates that are substantially lower than female domestic students (Yan & Cardinal, 2013). For these reasons, further research needs to evaluate the PA experiences of female international students to investigate any barriers they may face, and to provide recommendations on how to increase PA within this specific population. It is well understood that PA provides countless overall health benefits (World Health Organization, 2018). These health benefits contribute greatly to university and college students when looking at their overall wellbeing (Bray & Born, 2004).  Many students show a significant decline in participation in vigorous PA when they enter their university years (Bray & Born, 2004). Bray & Born (2004) found that individuals who participated in more PA were less likely to experience extensive fatigue and had lower levels of overall tension at university compared to individuals with more sedentary lifestyles. The study found multiple links between overall participation in PA and student wellbeing (Bray & Born, 2004). A study conducted by Lovell et al. (2010) looked at the multitude of positive effects that university students experienced in their lives that were attributed to engaging in PA. Life enhancements included improved disposition, better sleep, increased mental awareness, improved quality of work, and more (Lovell et al., 2010).  Research has shown an overwhelming amount of evidence that overall female participation in PA is significantly lower than that of males (Lovell et al., 2010). These participation rates can be linked to a multitude of factors (Lovell et al., 2010). One of the main determinants of male dominated participation is the social psychology of stereotypes that revolves around PA (Chalabaev et al., 2013). Chalabaev et al. (2013) describe that these gender differences often occur in PA and sport settings because we have been socialized to expect them. These socializations have led to male and female differences in motivation and self-perceptions when engaging in PA (Chalabaev et al. 2013). These gender differences are well understood, and measures have already been put into place in many institutions and PA settings to try and combat the stereotypes. At UBC, the ARC Fitness Centre has implemented Women’s Only Fitness Hours (UBC Recreation, n.a.). These hours intend to provide women with a space to feel empowered and build confidence to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle on campus (UBC Recreation, n.a.).  Although domestic and international students may be given the same PA opportunities at university, the rates at which international students participate are much lower than domestic students (Study International Staff, 2019., Yan & Cardinal, 2013). A study conducted at the University of Toronto found that international students were a specifically vulnerable population on campus and in turn, PA could be used to benefit them in a multitude of ways (Study International Staff, 2019). The data used to inform this study highlighted that only 15% of domestic students and 12% of international students were adhering to the World Health Organization PA guidelines (Study International Staff, 2019). This lower rate of PA can be attributed to a wide range of causes (Yan & Cardinal, 2013). Yan & Cardinal (2013) found that international students at many universities in the United States were not adequately targeted in health efforts or PA promotion. Other causes for a lack of PA include disconnect from their support network, lack of knowledge about the benefits of PA, intent to focus solely on educational pursuits and more (Yan & Cardinal, 2013). This project investigates the less-active populations that the literature above has highlighted to assess the experiences of PA participation on UBC campus.  There are many common barriers that females face in relation to their participation in sport and PA which can be expanded on to provide insight for directing data collection and possible interventions (Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, 2008). These barriers can be separated into practical, personal, social, and cultural barrier types. Practical barriers include a lack of time, money, transportation, accessibility to facilities, and funding, as well as worries about personal safety (Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, 2008). Personal barriers include body image, clothing and equipment, self-confidence, and parental/adult influence (Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, 2008). Social and cultural barriers include the male-dominated culture of sport, sexual harassment and abuse, as well as attitudes and prejudices about sexuality, ethnicity, and disability (Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, 2008). In an attempt to address this need on UBC campus specifically, our project explores the current gaps in programming and communication, and addresses what UBC Recreation can do to facilitate more PA opportunities for female international students on campus. The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a needs assessment for this population in relation to PA opportunities. This project presents the findings to further inform UBC Recreation’s efforts towards programing and piloting initiatives to better serve this population.  UBC is host to a large population of international students accounting for 28.1% of enrollment, which continues to increase every year (UBC, 2019). This project focuses on self-identifying females, because as the literature suggests, they have been identified as a population that faces many barriers in regards to PA participation. UBC has a significantly large student population (64,798, as of the 2018-2019 school year) which is composed of 60% female students, some of whom experience inequalities on and off campus (UBC, n.d.).  Overall, there is a clear link between participation in PA and increased physical and mental wellbeing (Hegberg & Tone, 2014). Research has shown a trend of decreased PA levels in all students during the transition from high school to university years (Bray & Born, 2004). Meanwhile, this trend is even stronger in female students as they face barriers influencing engagement in PA such as gender stereotypes (Chalabaev et al., 2013). International students are less likely to participate in PA than their domestic counterparts and this contributes to a loss in productivity and quality of life (Study International Staff, 2019., Yan & Cardinal, 2013). According to UBC’s public affairs office, international students comprise as much as 25% of the total number of enrolled students (Ten Things To Know About International Student Enrolment, 2017). UBC recognizes the importance of inclusivity and equal opportunity through the various recreational programs it offers (Ten Things To Know About International Student Enrolment, 2017). Therefore, UBC aims to address barriers that students may face to ensure sufficient PA participation and improve campus life for the general wellbeing of all students. METHODS   Data collection occurred through a mixed methods design, by asking participants to complete a short survey regarding their personal experiences with PA within the university context. The survey collected a variety of quantitative and qualitative data that was then used to  draw conclusions from the target population. To be included in the study individuals had to self-identify as females and had to have moved from somewhere outside of Canada to attend UBC. Participants were recruited predominantly through Facebook posts that had a brief explanation of the study and a link to complete the survey online. The Facebook post was released in multiple Facebook groups with relation to the university, such as residency and housing groups for Fairview Crescent and Walter Gage Housing as well as the UBC Exchange Student Club page, which are all predominantly made up of international students. Some participants that fit the criteria were also recruited through word of mouth and then sent the survey link.  To maximize the efficiency and convenience of the data collection, a Qualtrics survey link was available for participants to complete at their earliest convenience. The survey assessed a multitude of measures with respect to female international student’s experiences with PA at UBC. First, the survey assessed the number of days a week, on average, the target demographic engaged in PA with their current lifestyle habits (Appendix A, Figure 1). This measure provided a foundation for the project as it allows for specific goal setting in comparison to the baseline data. Secondly, the survey assessed how female international students are currently engaging in PA on campus (Appendix A, Figure 2). This information was critical to the project design as it determines current areas of success in regards to current PA opportunities, while highlighting key priorities for improvement. This facilitates the generation of new programs that are realistic and achievable for the target population.   The next component of the survey assesses the specific barriers that inhibit frequent and regular engagement of PA on UBC campus. The five barriers that were individually rated with likert scale questions were Financial, Availability, Diversity of Classes/Types, Accessibility and Inclusivity (Appendix A, Figure 3). This portion of the survey facilitated the identification of the driving factors hindering access to PA opportunities, and allowed for the generation of specific strategies to overcome the most significant barriers in place. The survey also inquired about any additional barriers that may not be listed already, which allowed participants to comment freely on their own experiences with barriers to PA (Appendix A, Figure 4).  In addition, the survey allowed participants to actively contribute their own recommendations regarding PA opportunities on UBC campus (Appendix A, Figure 5). This allowed for the generation of new ideas that originated from the female international student population themselves. Finally, the participants were asked to discuss their knowledge of current resources available to them for PA experiences (Appendix A, Figure 6). This helped create a better understanding of the effectiveness of current PA programs at UBC and their resulting effects on the target population. As a result of the mixed methods project design, both qualitative and quantitative measures were obtained and analyzed. The structure and design of the survey process facilitates the data collection to ensure that there is consistency across all measures. In addition, specific data sets from the survey were to be analyzed in isolation to ensure the reliability of findings from the target demographic.  Quantitative measures are present within the data in order to maintain the integrity of results in the absence of researcher bias. As seen in Appendix A, Figure 1, likert scale measurements were obtained from participants indicating their engagement in weekly physical activity. The mean of the data was calculated in order to assess the average number of days within the week that female international students engage in PA. In addition, the likert scale data of barriers to PA (Appendix A, Figure 3) is displayed as a whole in a bar graph format, revealing the distribution of participant responses. The mean of each category was calculated to ensure the integrity of the distribution is maintained.  Qualitative data from Appendix B, Tables 2 - 4 show direct quotations from participants to maintain clarity. Questions in Appendix A, Figures 2, 4, 5, and 6 are of a quantitative nature and rely on the subjective responses of the participants. The qualitative data collected was used to gain further subjective insight into the issue itself, while allowing for the creation of new ideas.  RESULTS  Data was collected from twenty-three female international students at the University of British Columbia who completed a survey regarding physical activity participation. It was found that the mean number of PA per week was 2.39 days. However, the mode of the data set was 1.0 day per week (Appendix B, Figure 1). The mean score for each barrier to physical activity was calculated from the Five-Point Likert Scale data. “Inclusivity,” had the highest mean of 2.14, followed by, “financial” at 1.87 (Appendix B, Table 1). “Accessibility” had a mean score of 1.71, while “diversity of classes,” had a score of 1.43 (Appendix B, Table 1). Finally, “availability,” had the lowest mean score of 1.29 within the data collected (Appendix B, Table 1). Participants found PA opportunities to be “unwelcoming,” and “too crowded,” or felt “judged” in the environment (Appendix B, Table 2). Participants also offered recommendations of their own, such as to have “more gyms,” “smaller classes,” “more ads,” and “cheaper sessions” (Appendix B, Table 3). Overall, participants revealed that they were aware of PA opportunities on campus such as MoveUBC, the ARC, and UBC Rec groups (Appendix B, Table 4).  DISCUSSION   Based on the results of the survey, we were able to draw some conclusions about the current barriers to PA that exist for female international students at the UBC campus. The quantitative data indicates that there are multiple individuals who, for multiple reasons, are unable to exceed 1-2 days engaging in PA (Appendix B, Figure 1). The five barriers to PA and both the qualitative and quantitative data collected indicated key areas for improvement with respect to this particular issue. We found that inclusivity, on average, was the most prominent barrier to PA for the survey participants. This was specified in Appendix B, Table 2, by which participants described their personal encounters with various programs at UBC. The specificity of this data allows for university and recreational stakeholders to utilize this data and feedback to mitigate these challenges. Within the context of UBC programs and facilities for PA, participation can be maximized by further understanding the unique experiences of the target population (Appendix B, Table 2). The specific concerns with regard to inclusivity align with the findings in the literature that personal, social and cultural barriers can impact PA engagement (Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation, 2008). The results of this survey also agree with the recent finding that only about 12% of international students are adhering to the World Health Organization PA guidelines (Study International Staff, 2019).  One of the challenges we faced in the process of this survey was finding an adequate amount of respondents. While 36 individuals opened the survey, only 23 successfully filled out the survey in its entirety. This minimized our opportunity to draw upon a wide variety of participant experiences. None of the students who created this project fit within the target audience of being female international students, therefore our ability to find and connect with the community was somewhat limited.  Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the closure of all in-person course instruction at both UBC campuses, and therefore a transition to online classes has occurred. While the effect of this pandemic has drastically impacted the population worldwide, we acknowledge the specific impact this has had on the students and the potential disruption from academic duties. As COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, we believe that it has caused widespread anxiety for students, especially international students who may not have a strong support system while living at UBC, or have been faced with the decision of whether to return to their home country. In a study conducted in China during the initial phases of the outbreak and quarantine, “students were [...] found to experience a psychological impact of the outbreak and higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression” (Wang et al., 2020). Furthermore, “sociodemographic data suggest that females suffered a greater psychological impact of [this] outbreak as well as higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression” Wang et al., (2020). This transition of packing up and leaving in the midst of an academic semester, as many international students chose to do so, has very likely diverted attention not just from physical fitness but all community based activities on campus. The survey was posted on a number of international student related Facebook pages, but it is very possible that students may not be paying as much attention to these online platforms or wanting to take the time to fill out surveys while the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and anxiety and distractions continue to increase. RECOMMENDATIONS   According to our research findings, it is evident from the data that a language barrier is one of the factors contributing to lack of participation in PA and a form of discouragement for female international students at UBC. Two of the respondents chose Mandarin as the language of their survey which suggests that a segment of the female international students at UBC may be more comfortable in languages other than English. Instruction based classes like yoga or pilates require a certain level of comprehension from the instructor and therefore, if the participants are not able to understand, this can lead to decreased participation in PA. One of the participants responded to Question 4 on the survey with “Instructor doesn't speak Mandarin. I feel judged when working out” (Appendix B, Table 2). This respondent is expressing a perceived lack of inclusivity and a fear of judgement due to a language barrier. Therefore, our first recommendation is that UBC Recreation introduces classes instructed in Mandarin, and other common languages spoken by large populations of international students at UBC. These classes would have the potential to recruit a larger audience, as the majority of international students at UBC come from China (Ten Things To Know About International Student Enrolment, 2017). This recommendation is supported by the Health Belief Model as it increases the individual’s ability to overcome perceived barriers (language/culture). According to the model, this would also increase the likelihood of continuing these PA behaviours in the future. Furthermore, classes offered in a variety of languages can engage groups of the UBC population who are not as physically active on campus as domestic students and fill the gap of a language barrier. Secondly, female only fitness classes have the potential to break down gender stereotypes present in PA settings and promote self-confidence among the participants (Chalabaev et al., 2013). Chalabaev et al. (2013) identify a relationship between the physical setting of PA, motivation, and self-perceptions of participants when engaging in PA. They concluded that the factors influencing the environment in which PA is conducted, such as the presence of another gender, has the potential to boost or lessen motivation and self-confidence for participation in future sessions (Chalabaev et al., 2013). With this context, one of the participants responded: “As a Muslim woman, I need all-female classes and timings but that is not available. Even when ARC introduced women's timings the staff was not aware of it and did not enforce it so it was redundant” (Appendix B, Table 2). This response suggests that female students may experience barriers when attempting to access female only PA environments, and additionally, that there may be a lack of training and communication to the staff. While UBC Recreation does offer “Women’s Only Fitness Hours,” there seems to be a lack of female only classes, not only in number but also variety. According to Chalabaev et al., (2013), single gender fitness classes tend to create a more inclusive and relaxed environment away from gender-based judgements. Consequently, our second recommendation is that UBC Recreation considers implementing a wide variety of female only fitness classes, such as yoga, pilates, or kickboxing to name a few examples, and increasing the advertising of these classes to promote awareness of these PA opportunities.   Likert scale data from the survey revealed that inclusivity was the barrier with the highest average for the survey participants when accessing PA on UBC campus (Appendix B, Table 1). One participant specified that certain fitness classes can be “unwelcoming,” because the baseline physical ability required is too high (Appendix B, Table 2). Our third recommendation is that promotion of UBC Recreation programs include a better focus on beginner and entry-level fitness classes. These specific classes should be advertised online on UBC Recreation websites and across campus in places such as residences, libraries etc. Advertising can be executed through platforms already used by UBC Recreation such as social media campaigns, signs/posters in public areas and information sessions. This promotion would be targeting those who may feel uncertain, or are lacking confidence in a particular PA activity. The promotion strategy would focus on classes that are instructed with minimal expectation of the participant’s ability or knowledge of the PA activity. This has the potential to support self-efficacy, and encourage participants to then participate in regular classes as they become comfortable. This can be related to the Theory of Planned Behaviour, while also considering the influence of self-identity in relation to group norms as a predictor for PA participation (Ries, Hein, Pihu & Armenta, 2012). Therefore, classes with minimal expectation of PA knowledge or ability have the potential to include people from various identities and backgrounds.  One of the participants' recommendations for improving access to PA on campus was to have access to a fitness trainer at the residences on campus (Appendix B, Figure 4). Our fourth recommendation is that UBC Recreation begins a fitness initiative at each campus residence that would provide students with access to a fitness trainer, preferably both male and female. The trainer would not only provide access to personal training and group classes for those living in that residence, but could potentially become a knowledgeable support that students feel comfortable asking advice related to their health and fitness as well. We believe this could be highly effective in increasing students' access to PA on campus, and it additionally would create an opportunity for students to organize PA sessions with their friends, roommates or floormates and build a sense of community. Moreover, female international students who may be new to campus could find that this provides more opportunity to connect with other students and engage in PA on UBC campus. Our last recommendation is that UBC Recreation, along with other campus partners, strive towards building a permanent female-only gym facility. The literature has discussed the sociocultural context of women’s avoidance of certain types of exercise (Salvatore and Marecek, 2007).  A female-only gym facility can create a comfortable space where certain types of exercise that most females want to have them in women only sessions take place. One participant in the survey recommended that having “more gyms on campus” would increase female international student’s access to PA (Appendix B, Table 3). Therefore, building a separate gym facility for females would not only be an effective strategy to counteract the inclusivity barriers that exist amongst female international students, but provide more spaces for students to access PA on campus.  CONCLUSION This study focused on uncovering the barriers that account for the lower PA participation rates we see in female international students at UBC. By releasing a comprehensive survey we were able to understand what the most prominent issues were. Included in these issues were barriers such as “inclusivity” and “finances”. The survey also allowed us the chance to hear feedback from these individuals as to what they felt could improve their PA experience on UBC campus. The results led us to suggest five comprehensive and achievable recommendations, as highlighted above, that would allow UBC Recreation the opportunity to make changes focused on increasing this specific population’s PA participation rates.  Future research on this topic should take a more comprehensive approach that could focus on tackling the issue of female international students' participation in PA before they arrive on campus. For example, future researchers could look into the possibility of adding lifestyle questions regarding applicants current involvement in PA alongside their normal UBC application. Research could also further investigate what PA activities are most popular in the countries where the majority of female international students come from, which could therefore lead to the creation of these PA classes at UBC. This could be paired with instructors who speak the appropriate language to accommodate international students who are not as comfortable with English instruction. Lastly, future research should explore a more efficient method of survey conduction, such as by sending out a campus-wide email and connecting with departments such as UBC International Student Advisors to attain a larger sample size. This would allow for a larger number of respondents who may have more insights and experiences but were not aware of this study.       References  Böke, B. N., Mills, D. J., Mettler, J., & Heath, N. L. (2019). Stress and Coping Patterns of University Students. Journal of College Student Development, 60(1), 85–103. doi: 10.1353/csd.2019.0005 Bray, S. R., & Born, H. A. (2004). Transition to University and Vigorous Physical Activity: Implications for Health and Psychological Well-Being. Journal of American College Health, 52(4), 181–188. doi: 10.3200/jach.52.4.181-188 Center For Disease Control and Health. (2018). Health related quality of life: Well-being concepts. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/wellbeing.htm#three  Chalabaev, A., Sarrazin, P., Fontayne, P., Boiché, J., & Clément-Guillotin, C. (2013). The influence of sex stereotypes and gender roles on participation and performance in sport and exercise: Review and future directions. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 14(2), 136–144. doi: 10.1016/j.psychsport.2012.10.005 Hegberg, N. J., & Tone, E. B. (2015). Physical activity and stress resilience: Considering those at-risk for developing mental health problems. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 8, 1–7. doi: 10.1016/j.mhpa.2014.10.001 Lovell, G., Ansari, W. E., & Parker, J. K. (2010). Perceived Exercise Benefits and Barriers of Non-Exercising Female University Students in the United Kingdom. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7(3), 784–798. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7030784 Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence  Based Nursing, 18(2), 34-35. doi:10.1136/eb-2015-102054 Physical activity. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity Ries, F., Hein, V., Pihu, M., & Armenta, J. M. S. (2012). Self-identity as a component of the theory of planned behaviour in predicting physical activity. European Physical Education Review, 18(3), 322-334. doi:10.1177/1356336X12450792 Study International Staff. (2019, December 19). International Students Should Exercise More. Here’s Why. Retrieved from https://www.studyinternational.com/news/international-st udents-exercise-combat-mental-health/  Salvatore, J., & Marecek, J. (2010). Gender in the gym: Evaluation concerns as barriers to women's weight lifting. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, 63(7-8), 556. doi:10.1007/s11199-010-9800-8 Ten Things To Know About International Student Enrolment. (2017, August 28). Retrieved from https://news.ubc.ca/2017/08/28/ten-things-to-know-about-international-student-enrolment UBC. (n.d.). Student Services: Women on campus. Retrieved from  https://students.ubc.ca/campus-life/diversity-campus/women-campus  UBC Recreation. (n.a.). Fitness and Classes. Women’s Only Fitness Hours. Retrieved from  https://recreation.ubc.ca/fitness-clhttps://www.studyinternational.com/news/international-students-exercise-combat-mental-health/asses/fitness-centre-locations/women-fitness-hours/ UBC. (2019). UBC Overview and Facts. Retrieved from https://www.ubc.ca/about/facts.html  Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation. (2008). Barriers to women and girls’ participation in  sport and physical activity. Retrieved from  Women's Only Fitness Hours. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from         https://recreation.ubc.ca/fitness-classes/fitness-centre-locations/women-fitness-hours/https://funding4sport.co.uk/downloads/women_barriers_participation.pdf  Wang, C., Pan, R., Wan, X., Tan, Y., Xu, L., Ho, C. S., & Ho, R. C. (2020). Immediate Psychological Responses and Associated Factors during the Initial Stage of the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Epidemic among the General Population in China. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5), 1729. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051729 Yan, Z., & Cardinal, B. J. (2013). Promoting Physical Activity Among International Students in  Higher Education: A Peer-Education Approach. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 84(1), 35–40. doi: 10.1080/07303084.2013.746151      Appendix A Figure 1: Days of PA Engaged In   Figure 2: Types of PA Figure 3: Experiences of Barriers  Figure 4: Comments on Barriers   Figure 5: Recommendations for PA Opportunities  Figure 6: Awareness of UBC Rec Initiatives    Appendix B   Figure 1: Weekly Physical Activity (PA) Scores Table 1 - Average of Ratings for Each Barrier Type of Barrier Average Rating (1-5) Financial 1.87 Availability 1.29 Diversity of Classes 1.43 Accessibility 1.71 Inclusivity  2.14    Figure 2: Average Rating for Barriers    Table 2 - Comments on Barriers Additional Comments on Barriers to PA: - “The only barrier I have experienced is when the ARC gets too crowded” - “As a Muslim woman, I need all-female classes and timings but that is not available. Even when ARC introduced women's timings the staff was not aware of it and did not enforce it so it was redundant” - “Tried out UBC rec pilates and found it very unwelcoming for an un-flexible beginner, much preferring the club. Financially it's all great as much cheaper than my home uni!” - “Instructor doesn't speak Mandarin. I feel judged when working out” - “I love the aquatic centre”  Table 3 - Participant Recommendations  Participant Recommendations to Improve Student Access to PA: - “Cheaper personal training sessions” - “More ads. Advertise benefits of PA and risks of not doing PA” - “Explain the rec system better as it’s quite confusing” - “Have smaller classes and make it possible to participate in”  - “I already paid so much for tuition, activities should be free” - “More gyms on campus”    Table 4 - Awareness of UBC Rec Initiatives  UBC Rec Initiatives that Participants are aware of: - “Trainer in residence, various classes through UBC Rec, ARC and SRC locations” - “Yoga, pilates, swimming, ARC, MoveUBC” - “MoveUBC” - “Storm the Wall” - “None” - “Drop in classes, long boat day, races, scavenger hunts”  

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