UBC Undergraduate Research

An Evaluation of Student Awareness and Participation in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines at UBC Barghouthi, Sarah; d’Anjou, Elsa; Lam, Natascha; Ong, Madison; Taylor, Devon


In 2020, the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) published the first official 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for adults aged 18-64. These guidelines were the first integrated and comprehensive approach to health, which offered evidence-based recommendations for physical activity, sedentary behavior, and sleep (Ross et al., 2020). Its release aims to address the unhealthy lifestyles of adults, which are especially prevalent amongst young college students and often lead to health implications later in life (Lawrence et al., 2017). However, there has been limited assessment of awareness amongst students. Therefore, more research assessing awareness in students is critical in determining approaches to improve participation in the guidelines. The purpose of our study was to assess student awareness and participation in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines at UBC Vancouver. Through our assessment, we hoped to offer practical strategies to raise awareness, increase participation, and identify any barriers/facilitators to meeting the recommended movement guidelines, to ultimately improve overall health and well-being for UBC students. Our study assessed 44 undergraduate students at the University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus (UBCV) between the ages of 16 and 25 years of age. Data was collected through a Qualtrics survey that included multiple-choice, Likert-type scale, and short answer-type questions. Analysis of our results through frequency tables and descriptive statistics revealed that participants were least aware of sedentary behaviour guidelines but adhered least to moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Additionally, awareness and adherence was overall lower in students who were not in the School of Kinesiology. The majority of participants agreed that increased awareness of the guidelines would encourage them to change their daily life behaviors, noting that knowledge of the potential health benefits of the recommendations would help encouragement, as well as family and friends. Barriers to engagement in the components of the guidelines included lack of time, studying, lack of motivation, laziness, and recommended that awareness of and adherence to guidelines by students would increase by sharing more information on larger platforms, and having more events and challenges with monetary incentives for participation. Throughout our findings, we were able to recommend three strategies to campus partners in order to address lack of awareness regarding the guidelines. Our first short term recommendation includes focusing awareness of sedentary behavior through investing in supportive infrastructure and increasing posters around campus. Our second recommendation is to partner with and expand the Move U crew to help reach the wider UBC student population and to communicate knowledge of the guidelines during their movement breaks. Our long term recommendation is creation of an online platform that allows users to complete health challenges and quizzes about the guidelines, while being incentivized through discounts and coupons for on campus food. Ultimately, our aim is to provide research on the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines on campus in order to assist in helpful practical recommendations for UBC partners and to highlight the need for increased research in this area. 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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