n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Understanding the barriers to and reasons for physical exercise among university students : psycho-social perspectives of sports

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The aim of this study was to determine the barriers and reasons for exercise among university students. A sample of 370 students (135 males and 235 females) with a mean age of 20.2 ± 1.46 years participated in the study. They completed a biographical questionnaire as well as two questionnaires related to barriers and reasons to exercise. Factor analysis revealed five barriers and six reasons to exercise. The most important barriers to exercise were time constraints, motivation and a lack of environmental and social support, indicating low levels of self-determination in the motivation for students to exercise. The most important reasons to exercise were improving physical health, having confidence with their appearance and improving mental health. Significant gender differences were found between, racial groups and between students who exercise and those who don't. As most South Africans do not exercise enough to experience physical and psychological health benefits, it is important to understand the exercise behaviour of students. They are in a phase of life where they are ready for change and can make those changes that will benefit them in adult life.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error