A dimensional analysis of the benefits derived from physical activity participation among university students and variation in terms of gender
AbstractThe perceived benefits of regular physical activity are well documented in literature. However, despite the benefits many university students do not engage in physical activity. The purpose of the study was to examine the potential benefits that university students receive from physical activity participation. The secondary objective of the study was to examine whether males and female students differ in the benefits obtained from physical activity participation. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. A factor analysis method was used to determine the benefits derived from participating in physical activity. The dimensions were classified as: health promotion, revitalisation, physical appearance and self esteem and stress management. The results of the study showed that there were positive correlations between all the dimensions. However, no significant differences were revealed regarding the benefits of physical activity participation and gender. In addition, Cohen’s d effect sizes did not show a practical significance between the four sub-scales and gender. Male and female students consider all the dimensions as equally important with regard to the benefits that they derive from participation of physical activity. Summated mean scores for each of the sub-scales were also computed and very small differences were noted. Further research is recommended from samples from different public and private universities in South Africa.
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