THE BARRIERS AND FACILITATORS TO PHYSICAL ACTIVITY TO FIRST YEAR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the barriers and facilitators to physical activity as well as the Environmental, Facility and Social constraints that exist within students studying at Cardiff Metropolitan University in Cardiff, Wales. A representative sample of first year students (n = 168; 51.2% females; mean age 19.15 [18-33]) participated in the study. A self-reported method was used to attain physical activity information in the form of a questionnaire, where questions on sitting and walking, and moderate and vigorous physical activity was adapted from the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Questions on barriers and facilitators required tick box answers of which Total barrier and facilitator scores were created, while physical activity constraints and health benefits required qualitative responses. Quantitative data was uploaded to SPSS and analysed using non-parametric tests. Main findings included differences between genders, courses of study and living arrangements for Total IPAQ score, importance of physical activity and Total barrier score. Males were more physically active than females, as were the students living on campus. Non-sport students experienced higher barriers across all barrier categories, although safety was perceived as a significantly higher barrier to sport students. In conclusion, many constraints were provided by the students and differences were found between barriers across independent variables. Further research is required in relation to facilitators as very few significant differences were found within the present study.
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