Perceived benefits and barriers to physical exercise : a comparative analysis of first year and senior students at a South African University : physical activity and health
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The purpose of this research was to determine the perception of university undergraduate students regarding the benefits and barriers to physical exercise. A self-administered survey questionnaire was used to collect data from 480 students at North-West University, Vaal campus in Gauteng province, South Africa. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics and mean comparison with independent t-tests. Physical performance and psychological outlook were perceived as the greatest among the benefits of physical exercise, whereas physical exertion and lack of facilities were perceived as the strongest among the barriers to physical exercise. Overall, undergraduate students perceived participating in exercising to have more benefits than adverse effects and there was no significant difference between first year and senior students. The results of the study point to associated challenges relating to physical exercise among students in South Africa.