Antecedents of Participation in Physical Activity among Generation Y at a South African Higher Education Institution

R Nishimwe-Niyimbanira, PF Muzindutsi


Physical activity has crucial health benefits for individuals of all ages. This study aimed at determining the prevalence of physical activity and its determinants among generation Y students. This study followed a quantitative research design through a self-administered survey questionnaire. Data was collected from a sample of 540 undergraduate students randomly selected from a South African university. The short version of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), which measures physical activity by self-report over the previous 7 days, was used to measure the prevalence of physical activity. Data analysis involved the use of various statistical techniques such descriptive statistics, correlation and regression analyses. Results showed that 36% of students engaged in low physical activity; while 45.3 % and 18.3% engaged in moderate and in high physical activity, respectively. Correlation analysis showed a significant association between prevalence of physical activity and two dimensions (physical exertion and time expenditure) of perceived barriers of physical activity. Regression results revealed that students’ participation in physically is mostly influenced by gender, means of transport to or from school, year of studies, physical exertion and time expenditure. Findings of this study point to a need of intervention programs promoting positive attitude towards participation in physical activity among South African university students.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n21p291

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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