2022, Volume 18
A social-ecological analysis of barriers to sports and other forms of physical activity for female university students in China
Xiaozhe Qin1, Min Li1, Dachao Zhang1
1Department of Physical Activity and Sport, University of Henan, Kaifeng, China
Author for correspondence: Min Li; Department of Physical Activity and Sport, University of Henan, Kaifeng, China; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background and Study Aim: Female university students’ participation rates in sports and others forms of physical activity have been low for decades in China. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that impact female university students’ participation in sports and others forms of physical activities.
Material and Methods: This study is grounded in the theoretical underpinnings of a social-ecological model of influences on participation in sports and others forms of physical activity. The study was conducted in China and focuses on an identification of the factors that impact the participation rate of female university students aged 18 to 22. Questionnaires were distributed to 2000 female university students between the ages of 18 and 22 in 11 cities.
Results: First, female university students who infrequently participated in sports and others forms of physical activity primarily experienced strong intrapersonal barriers, whereas those who often engaged in sports/physical activity were more likely to encounter greater environmental barriers. Second, the factors examined using a social-ecological model that most affected female university students’ participation in sports/physical activity included personal physiological factors, participation and the support of people around them, site and natural environmental factors, and a lack of female sports facilities and exercise opportunities for women.
Conclusions: Barriers to female university students’ participation in sports and others forms of physical activity are affected by various factors under the social ecology model. To promote female university students’ participation in sports/physical activity, a comprehensive support environment should also be constructed.
Key words: interpersonal factors, exercise, environmental factors, social ecological model