A Social-Ecological Analysis of Barriers to Sports and Physical Activity
for Female University Students in China
AbstractFemale university students' participation rates in sports and 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 physical activities. This study is grounded
in the theoretical underpinnings of a social-ecological model of
influences on participation in sports and 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. The study yielded
several interesting findings. First, female university students who
infrequently participated in sports and physical activity primarily
experienced strong intrapersonal barriers, whereas those who often
engaged in sports and 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 and 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.