UBC Undergraduate Research

Upper Level UBC Students Engagement and Awareness of Move UBC Celis, Paula Becerra; Chow, Christopher; McGregor, Reannon; Wong, Ashley


Participation in regular physical activity is essential toward achieving positive health outcomes through its many benefits such as resistance to disease, better memory and attention, stress reduction, improved mental health, and enhanced cardiovascular health (Sukys et al., 2019). However, research has shown that upper-level university students in their final years of study are not achieving the recommended levels of daily physical activity for their age group (Driskell, Kim, & Goebel, 2005). Additionally, the nature of post-secondary education generally promotes a sedentary lifestyle for many students (University of British Columbia, 2017). This is worrisome because sedentary behaviours can lead to adverse health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis (Lurati, 2018). One way that the University of British Columbia (UBC) is addressing these physical activity needs is through health promoting initiatives such as Move UBC . The Move UBC Campaign is an annual university-wide initiative that seeks to increase physical activity and reduce the amount of time students, staff, and other members of the UBC community spend sitting (Move UBC, 2020). The purpose of this project was to examine whether upper year UBC students are aware of Move UBC , whether they feel there is enough opportunity to participate in Move UBC events, and to discover what they think the key messaging of the Move UBC campaign is. Through this research, this project sought to discover how effective the Move UBC Campaign is toward promoting health and wellness in upper-year UBC students. This project used Qualtrics, a secure online survey platform to collect both qualitative and quantitative data over a three week period ranging from February 24 to March 12, 2020. Qualitative data was analyzed through patterns found in open-ended questions, and quantitative data was analyzed through Likert scales, yes-no questions, and multiple choice questions. The survey was distributed through various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Through this research it was discovered that the majority of upper-level students were aware of Move UBC . However, very few of these students had participated in a Move UBC event, suggesting that the campaign needs to find ways to encourage greater participation in upper-level students rather than work to raise their awareness. Additionally, it was discovered that students who were already achieving the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week found ways to be physically active during the time between classes through means outside of Move UBC . This demonstrates how the campaign has an opportunity to increase participation in their events through additional programming between classes. Based on this research, this project has developed 4 recommendations for Move UBC to consider that may address upper level student participation and awareness in the campaign: (1) introduce online physical activity resources, (2) utilize social media to increase engagement, (3) scheduling events to accommodate upper-level student schedules, and (4) ideas for follow-up studies for long-term development. 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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