UBC Undergraduate Research

How can Bodyworks UBC Expand their Clientele? Legaspi, Anthony; Chan, Hin To; Mohammed, Idris; Jiandani, Shivani; Balasubramaniam, Malaaika


BodyWorks gym is part of an outreach program of the faculty of Kinesiology in the University of British Columbia (UBC). Bodyworks UBC uses evidence based practices to create an inclusive and supportive environment for adults to exercise in. Bodyworks also targets individuals who are at risk for chronic diseases. This study aims to find how to increase clientele for the BodyWorks gym. This will be achieved by analyzing barriers and motivators to participating in the Bodyworks program, and curating potential resolutions to the barriers and enhancements to the motivators. Sedentary lifestyles are common risk factors for several chronic diseases as research indicates that 69% of Canadian adults’ time was spent being sedentary (Colley et al., 2011). Given this information, our research will aim to target faculty and staff members of UBC who are of middle-age (within ages 40 - 60, as this is BodyWorks’ target age group) and have occupations that require them to be sedentary. This research study utilizes semi-structured interviews as a qualitative method of data collection. Participants for this study were recruited through the distribution of emails across various faculties in UBC. The emails outlined participation criteria, the interview length, and a general description of the study. The email addresses were obtained using the university faculty and staff directory. The interviews conducted will be held digitally through Zoom in adherence to social distancing restrictions as Zoom is a platform utilized by students, faculty, and staff of UBC in which they are most likely familiar with this platform. Zoom as a platform also allows for meetings to be recorded which will assist in the methodology of data collection and analysis with the consent of the participants. The maximum time allocated for each interview is 60 minutes, in which the 60 minutes is utilized to account for providing participants the time needed to answer the questions as detailed as possible as well as allow for the researchers to probe for more information. From the interviews, 4 main themes were found, including two underlying barriers and two overarching motivators. The first barrier found was a lack of knowledge of BodyWorks. Participants were not aware of the details of the programs offered at BodyWorks, therefore did not consider joining. Furthermore, despite all participants being within the target age demographic, many of them believed that they were much younger than the population that BodyWorks is catered toward. The second barrier found was the location of BodyWorks. The establishment is located on the periphery of the UBC campus, which entails long transit from multiple parts of the city as well as costly parking rates. The first motivator to participate in exercise that was identified was the social aspect. Participants of the study expressed that an important part of physical activity for them was being able to interact with peers. It is known that BodyWorks has an established and welcoming community of individuals. Secondly, participants stated that they viewed exercise as preventative medicine as they approach older age. BodyWorks is specifically catered to this concept and utilizes evidence based practices into their programming. Based on these findings, 4 recommendations were curated, including: implementing and diversifying advertising, altering the reputation that BodyWorks has about being solely for older adults to make it more in line with their true mission, persisting with online delivery of programs and initiating online personal training, and partnering with other gyms at UBC to deliver group classes. 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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