Self-reported physical activity and sedentary behaviour amongst UK university students: a cross-sectional case study

Roberts, Charlie J. and Ryan, Declan J. and Campbell, Jackie and Hardwicke, Jack (2024) Self-reported physical activity and sedentary behaviour amongst UK university students: a cross-sectional case study. Critical Public Health, 34 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 0958-1596

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Abstract

Background
This cross-sectional study investigated self-reported physical activity (PA) and sedentary behaviour amongst UK university students.

Methods
An online survey was completed by 590 students at a higher education institution in the UK to obtain both quantitative and qualitative data on PA levels and experiences, knowledge and adherence to PA guidelines, and sitting time.

Results
Considerable numbers (37%) were estimated to not meet the 150-min moderate-vigorous intensity weekly PA guideline and 56% did not meet strength-based activity guidelines. Just under half (48%) reported experiencing barriers to PA at university, with females, sexual minority students, white ethnicity students, those reporting lower levels of PA, and undergraduate students being more likely to report experiencing barriers. Respondents reported financial reasons, time and stress being the most influential barriers to PA, regardless of demographics. Average reported sitting time on weekdays was 8 h.

Conclusions
The results indicate that a large proportion of our sample of UK university students did not meet PA guidelines, experience barriers to engaging in PA, and demonstrate sedentary behaviour that has been associated with negative health outcomes. The article discusses these findings and practical considerations are offered for personnel working within universities as well as directions for future research.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/09581596.2024.2338182
Dates:
DateEvent
29 March 2024Accepted
18 April 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Physical activity, sedentary behaviours, university students, public health, higher education
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences > Dept. Sports Science
Depositing User: Gemma Tonks
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2024 13:31
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2024 13:31
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15462

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