UBC Undergraduate Research

Enhancing Communication and Awareness of UBC Recreational Programming in Commuter and Resident Students Wu, Teddy; Rackham, Hilary; Lam, Daniel; Stone-Kerr, Delaney; Cheung, Johnson


In this report ‘Recreation Gaps Pilot Program Evaluation,’ self-identified female students attending the University of British Columbia (UBC) who did not participate in “Move More, Learn More”, a physical activity promotion initiative, were analyzed in order to better understand their knowledge of the program, interest in participating, and suggested methods for communicating the program. Specifically, students in this demographic who commute to UBC campus were compared to those who reside there. The initiative was the outcome of a 2018 Equity Enhancement Fund by the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office that was granted to the UBC Department of Athletics and Recreation to establish an initiative to promote physical on the UBC campus in Vancouver. Due to the notion that female Chinese students represent the largest subset of students enrolled at UBC and also report the lowest levels of physical activity, the pilot program was focused on this demographic. However, all female students were able to attend. Launched by the Physical Activity Office in February 2019, the program took place two times a week for under an hour for six weeks in a group of 5-25 participants. To assess commuter and resident non-participants of the program, a group of students in KIN 464: Health Promotion and Physical Activity worked together with community partners from Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) to carryout objectives of the study. A literature review was conducted to examine physical activity trends in post-secondary commuter and resident students and the barriers to engaging in exercise that they face. To collect data, surveys were conducted through online recruitment using social media sites such as Facebook and alternative online social platforms such as Canvas. Survey questions inquired about commuter or residential status, history of engagement in previous UBC programs, and efficient communication methods of UBC events. Results revealed that both commuter and resident students were deterred from UBC programming due to time constraints, specifically academic obligations. Both groups reported that they would prefer an evening program that occurred frequently throughout the week so as to accommodate a wide range of schedules. Furthermore, Facebook was the primary recommended platform for advertisement, including a focus on sharing such events in a selection of academic and non-academic UBC-affiliated groups and clubs such as the UBC Asian Calligraphy club. Based on the quantitative and qualitative data collected, recommendations were made to SEEDS to increase awareness and participation in UBC physical activity programming, and to effectively communicate future programs to accomplish this. First, communication of the program can be enhanced by expanding social media posts to include tailored information for commuter students, posting in a wide range of UBC-affiliated groups, and creating social media groups for commuters specifically. Increasing awareness and participation may be accomplished by increasing the frequency in which a program is offered, using tailored prizes as incentives, and promoting team events where commuters and residents can compete against each other. 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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