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UBC Undergraduate Research

The Investigation of Time Distribution for Physical Activity for Self-Identified Female Chinese (including Macao and Taiwanese) Students at UBC Choy, Nicolas; Rabbani, Tian; Riar, Jeevun; Rudecki, Julia; Brunt, Madelyn


Recently, the University of British Columbia (UBC) Undergraduate Experience Survey (UES) International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) revealed that females from Asian Ethnic groups are the least involved with physical activity (PA) and recreation at the UBC. This project looks at self-identified Chinese female students (including Macao and Taiwanese students), and examines the potential barriers that limit their engagement in recreational PA. In this study, we will be utilizing a time mapping method. Time mapping is a tool which will allow us to visualize the actual amount of time passed engaging in given activities on different days. This will allow us to see how these students are spending their day hour by hour, and how they transition from one activity to the next. As “lack of time” was a major commonality in much of our preliminary research (Yanz & Cardinal, 2012; Im et al., 2012; Daniel, Abendorth, & Erlen, 2017; Im & Choe, 2004), time-mapping will likely be a valuable tool to identify how self-identified Chinese females at UBC spend their time, and see if hypothetically they are able to incorporate PA into their schedules. Recruitment for this study was conducted through convenience sampling in which the SEEDS network, UBC AMS club pages, various UBC undergraduate pages, and social media was used. We found that social media was a strong outlet in yielding the most participants. Through this recruitment process, 15 individuals voluntarily agreed to participate, which required them to complete a Qualtrics survey and an excel document, mapping out three days’ worth of activity of their week. Due to the large target demographic, a survey was used alongside an excel document to properly identify participants’ delegation of time throughout the week. The survey included both multiple choice questions as well as open-ended questions to encapsulate the most data around potential time barriers. Questions in the survey primarily focused on aspects like how students delegated their time, whether they commuted to UBC or lived on campus, if they were aware of the various opportunities provided by UBC recreation, and the main factors limiting their involvement. Through analysis of the data, there were four key themes that were prevalent across participants. We have found four outcomes from the present study: self efficacy is a barrier to PA, PA is not a high priority, individuals feel too fatigued to engage in PA, and lack of time for PA. Participants expressed that they were uncertain on what activity they should partake in at the gym, and how to do so. The second theme was not prioritizing PA. Students knew the fundamental benefits of PA, yet they prioritized school, work, family, and sleep more.. In addition, many mentioned that free time to participate in other activities decreases while workload increases as the semester goes on. Further, students articulated that they felt excessively fatigued after going through their busy schedules to partake in any exercise. The fourth and final theme was a “lack of time” to engage in PA. This was mostly due to long commutes, which reduces the time in the day in which individuals can exercise. Taking the findings into consideration, four recommendations or plans to action were suggested. The first is to utilize strong communication channels (such as social media) to reach out to this demographic, as it is known that technology has an immense influence on how information is disseminated (Ferguson et al., 2014). The second recommendation, stemmed from the first, is the creation of advertisements and infographics catering to students of all athletic levels through using popular social media channels. When creating advertisements, it is suggested that a picture of a Chinese, Macao, or Taiwanese athlete is used to cater to the demographic we seek to reach out to. The third recommendation is creating female-only gym times. With the implementation of the ARC, gym accessibility is increased which could allow potential hours to be dedicated to female-only students. For example, at the ARC, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7pm-8pm could be dedicated to female students. This would limit the perception of the gym being a masculine dominated or intimidating environment. Our final recommendation is creating programs that cater to these busy schedules. For example, UBC could implement a program in which the same content would occur twice a week. This would allow students to pick and choose which day suits their needs the best, and it would avoid the students feeling left out having missed a day of the program. 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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