UBC Undergraduate Research

Improving the Awareness of UBC Recreation Sumar, Sabrina; Yap, David; Gill, Davin; Buttar, Harmanat

Abstract

The title of this project is, “Improving the Awareness of UBC Recreation”. The purpose of the assignment was to develop several new methods for a specific campus group that may be most effective in improving UBC Recreation awareness. Research on current literature was completed to gain background knowledge on the chosen population; first year female students enrolled in the engineering program at UBC. This population was chosen because studies have shown that their group would benefit tremendously from being more aware about recreational opportunities on campus. The associated health benefits of physical activity for this population and the importance of creating awareness surrounding recreational opportunities for engaging in physical activity were also looked into. The literature review explained how engineering students have been found to experience significantly greater academic workloads in comparison to students from other programs. Their busy schedule is associated with increased levels of stress and anxiety. Multiple studies show that mental health can be improved by the participation in physical activity, ultimately allowing them to better cope with their stress. Furthermore, effective strategies for promoting recreational programs in universities/colleges were discussed. Interview questions were then developed with the focus being on increasing awareness of UBC Recreation. With these questions, semi-structured interviews were conducted and the population’s current awareness of UBC Recreation opportunities was discovered. Based on the recurring themes from the interviews, three recommendations on how to increase awareness for UBC Recreation were devised: “Social Media Platforms for Specific UBC Recreation Programs”, “Regular Email Updates” and “Guest UBC REC Speakers”. After this information was analyzed, a survey was developed consisting of a ranking system, in which the 3 strategies were judged based on how well each could potentially improve an individual's awareness of UBC Recreation . This survey was distributed across 50 first year female engineering students that were found on the “Official UBC Engineering First Years 2017- 2018” Facebook group and contacted via Facebook Messenger. These students ranked the developed methods from most to least effective. After this was completed, the data was then analyzed and led to several implications. First, the most effective method for improving the awareness of UBC Recreation for first year female engineering students is through having specific social media pages for each UBC Recreation program. The second highest ranked method was through receiving email updates about UBC Recreation opportunities. The method that was perceived to be least effective was UBC Recreation representatives coming to classes to speak about their programs and the health benefits associated with increased campus recreation focus. With these findings UBC Recreation now has the opportunity to implement the recommended strategies. The awareness of recreation programs on campus may then be increased and these students may be more likely to participate as well. This can inadvertently improve mental health, and develop lifelong healthy behaviours which previous authors have found to be associated with increased campus recreation focus. The findings of this study provide insight on further research that can be done on which programs are most effective for different populations. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS 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 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 Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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