Exploring first-year university students' barriers and facilitators to meeting the recommendations in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults


First-year undergraduate students report low adherence to all movement behaviour (physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep) recommendations in the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults aged 18-64 years (24HMG). A first step towards the development of an implementation intervention is to understand the barriers and facilitators faced when attempting the target behaviours. The purpose of this study was to determine the multilevel factors that facilitate or prevent first-year undergraduate students' movement behaviours. Thirteen focus groups were conducted with first-year students from Queen's University (n=8) and the University of British Columbia (n=6). Inductive thematic analysis identified three themes and 13 sub-themes, which included multiple barriers and facilitators students face when trying to meet the 24HMG recommendations. Subsequently, themes and sub-themes were deductively categorized onto both the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) and the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to understand barriers and facilitators to implementation and behaviour change, respectively. CFIR coding suggested that the challenges students face directly relate to the individual and the value placed on meeting 24HMG recommendations, as well as indirectly to the social and physical environments. TDF coding highlighted the complexity of enacting the 24HMG, given each of the behaviours are not 'single-incidence' behaviours; they occur in various contexts, at different times and frequencies, and require the targeting of multiple constructs to foster multiple-behaviour change. Findings provide a foundation that will contribute to the development of an evidence- and theory-based implementation intervention to improve 24HMG adherence among first-year university students.

Acknowledgments: This study was funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada (grant number 1920-HQ-000004) and supported by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.