UBC Undergraduate Research

Understanding Female Chinese Students’ Low Engagement with Physical Activity : Communicational, Environmental and Situational Barriers Anandalingamm, Stephen; Dolatyar, Kambiz; Singh, Alisha; Xie, Iris; Yip, Kalon


The identification, understanding, and rectification of the communicational, environmental, and situational barriers that prevents Chinese female students from participating in physical activity (P.A.) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is a research study conducted by a group of UBC students. It has been identified by UBC census data that Chinese female students (Chinese, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwanese) are a demographic with one of the lowest P.A. rates (Kim, 2018). This is a significant demographic of UBC’s student body, as they comprise 41% of the 54% of UBC’s female population (Fact Sheet Winter 2018, 2018). Past research has identified that P.A. has the effect of preventing chronic diseases, and improving physical and mental health (Warburton, Nicol, & Bredin, 2006). Participants were recruited through Qualtrics surveys, followed by one-on-one interviews and focus groups. The research method was qualitative in nature. Three notable findings from this demographic were determined from this study: 1) Academic achievement is prioritized above P.A. 2) There is a lack of awareness of P.A. programs and events at UBC 3) One’s lived experiences affects the depth of their physical literacy The findings from the study provide insight for key changes that can be implemented to improve UBC Chinese female participation in P.A. These recommendations include: utilizing different platforms of social media, developing a new mobile app that incentivizes P.A. participation, offering academic incentives for participation in P.A., incorporating a mandatory course into first year curriculum, and establishing women-only gym spaces. 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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