UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC Indian Female Undergraduate Students : Cultural, Gender, and Student-related Barriers to Physical Activity Qureshi, Eshah; Meng, Charles; Wong, Amadis; Gao, George; Dixit, Ishan


In partnership with the Social Ecological Economic Developments Studies (SEEDS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC), UBC Indian Female Undergraduate Students: Cultural, Gender, and Student-related Barriers to Physical Activity aims to identify barriers to physical activity (PA) for female Indian undergraduate students. Our study utilized a survey to evaluate our population’s concerns, attitudes, usage, demographic, and understanding regarding PA. The survey was conducted for four weeks and was held in various locations around the UBC campus such as the UBC Nest, Irving K. Barber Library, and Buchanan Building. The survey was also accessible online. The data was collected from 44 participants. Through the use of thematic analysis and descriptive statistics, we identified barriers affecting the PA rates and perceptions of our demographic. We found that western culture had a profound impact on the participants’ perceptions of PA which included feelings of excitement and importance towards PA. Furthermore, structural barriers such as lack of time and large school workloads were observed to reduce PA access. Other barriers such as cultural barriers and gender-related barriers further diminished engagement in PA behaviours via lack of familial support. Recommendations to increase PA in our target demographics were made in regards to mental health, incentives, and program changes. Specifically, we suggested that the promotion of PA for psychological and physiological health benefits be performed more aggressively, in addition to the creation of incentives that make PA more affordable for students at UBC. Further research should look into a longitudinal design that takes into account a sedentary lifestyle. 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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