Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science


Health and Rehabilitation Sciences


Dr. Jennifer Irwin


The purpose of this study was to calculate a total daily sedentary time for the undergraduate population at a large urban Canadian University and discover student perceptions on the facilitators and barriers to engaging in a less sedentary lifestyle. A sample of 335 participants responded to an online survey, with 102 participants included in the quantitative analysis and 145 included in the qualitative analysis. Participants responded to the SIT-Q Sedentary Behaviour Questionnaire and two opened ended questions. Analysis of the SIT-Q demonstrated that undergraduate student’s have daily sedentary times similar to previously studied adults with a significant amount of sedentary time allocated to study. Three themes were identified as facilitators to engaging in a less sedentary lifestyle: 1) access to a gym, 2) student jobs, and 3) walking to and on campus. Two themes were identified as barriers to engaging in a less sedentary lifestyle: 1) sitting in class and 2) studying outside of class. The results suggest that like desk-based working adults, undergraduate student’s have levels of sedentary behaviour that warrant further investigation and intervention, perhaps most effectively within the university classroom.