UBC Undergraduate Research

Participation in Recreation by Muslim Women at UBC Elsayed, Ahmed; Basheer, Aziz; Odaa, Bashiru Sise; Grgic, David; Zaharijevic, Petar


Objective: To understand the gaps in communication and programming at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) recreation facilities affecting Muslim women in recreation at the undergraduate level; to determine the barriers to their participation; and to make recommendations based on this understanding in order to ultimately increase the rates of physical activity in this population. Study Design: This project recruited Muslim Women studying at UBC at the undergraduate level (n=11) to participate in semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, both with the same questions. Interview and questionnaire responses were categorized into 7 categories: varying levels of physical activity; lack of female only space; lack of hours dedicated to female only participants in existing facilities; lack of knowledge of UBC recreation facilities and programs; emphasis on academics as a barrier to participating; perception of fitness; sense of not belonging Results: From the 11 participants, four were relatively inactive, participating in less than 75 minutes; half of the recommended minutes of physical activity per week; two were moderately physically active, participating in about 100 minutes of physical activity per week; five met the weekly recommendation of 150 minutes of physical activity; three mentioned lack of female only spaces as a barrier to their participation; two mentioned lack of female designated hours in existing facilities as a barrier; one knew nothing of UBC’s recreation facilities and programs; three were mildly aware of UBC’s recreation facilities and programs; two mentioned that emphasis on schoolwork was a barrier to their participation in UBC recreation facilities and programs. Conclusion: In order to increase UBC’s Muslim Women’s engagement with recreation facilities and programs on campus, and subsequently their physical activity, we recommend that UBC employs Muslim women as fitness instructors; includes Muslim women in their marketing materials; having such marketing materials to educate Muslim women; expanding existing female only hours at existing recreation facilities; ensuring that female staff are present during such hours; adding female only spaces with appropriate equipment, as opposed to the inadequate ones currently being provided. 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.”

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International