UBC Undergraduate Research

Assessing the Effectiveness of the UBC Women's Only Fitness Times : Communication Abella, Faye; Cheng, Anika; Fogelman, Mika; Magdangal, Bianca; Pham, Margaret; Sadaka, Arielle


When critically studying interculturalism and its relation to recreational and physical activity opportunities, it is crucial to consider the possible barriers which prevent members of the community from being healthy and active. University of British Columbia (UBC) Recreation has sought to implement programs and services which foster interculturalism and promote health and wellbeing for UBC’s students. One of these services is the Women’s Only Fitness Times (WOFT), which are designated times wherein self-identifying women can engage in exercise at the Activities and Recreation Centre (ARC) in a safe and private environment. These exclusive hours aim to address the challenges that women on campus face when trying to access recreation facilities. In the interest of this course, the authors of this paper partnered with UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) in order to assess the delivery and execution of the newly implemented the WOFT. Through an extensive literature review of historical barriers to physical activity and an environmental scan of existing infrastructure, the authors of this paper were able to construct a specific methodology which aimed to critically assess the effectiveness of this service. The method of data collection consisted of both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including a comprehensive survey which was administered to students in order to further understand their experiences and gain valuable insight for this project. After data collection concluded, the authors of this study thematically analyzed the data and deduced several patterns and common themes which informed the outcome of this project. The main findings of this project were the following: (1) the nature and/or delivery of the marketing of the WOFT can be improved, (2) the program might benefit from increases in guidance and instructionality for patrons, and (3) there is a substantial preference for a greater amount of time slots for this program. These findings were then consolidated in order to present the following recommendations to UBC Recreation: (1) there needs to be a general increase in the awareness of the WOFT and inclusive messaging should be used, (2) there should be an increase in the times offered, since time was the largest perceived barrier by women who wished to access the WOFT, (3) the program might further benefit from an increase in instructionality and guidance for patrons who feel unsure about how to exercise effectively and (4) the program should eventually increase the amount and type of equipment available whenever it has the resources to do so. These recommendations were curated from honest testimonies of anonymous self-identifying women on campus who participated in the survey. This report includes an overview of the existing literature, methodology, findings, and recommendations aimed to improve UBC’s WOFT and enhance opportunities for interculturalism and inclusivity at UBC. 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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