Students and Recreation Recreation opportunities are plentiful on college campuses 74% of college students do not get enough physical activity (Rosen, 2000)
Barriers to Participation Previous research indicates that time is a barrier to participation (Jackson, 1993) A perception based on students individual schedules (Young, Ross, & Barcelona, 2003) Time deficiency or lack of interest?
Why Study Time? The information gained could provide professionals with: Insight into the student schedule Inspiration for new programs New marketing strategies
Purpose of the Study To investigate students perceptions of time and how this perception influences recreational sport participation. Focused on 4 categories of time: Contracted Committed Personal Free time (Robinson & Godbey, 1997)
Research Questions What recreational sport activities do students participate in, and how often? What perceived time constraints prevent increased participation? What time management strategies do students use? How much free time do students believe they have? How often do students feel pressed for time? Do students use I dont have enough time as an excuse for something else?
Selection of Participants Subjects were selected from 5 RPTS undergraduate courses. R100: Recreation Leadership Skills * R160: Foundations of Recreation and Leisure R180: Participant Leadership Development R181: Organizational Leadership Development R231: Careers in Leisure Services
The Instrument Paper and Pencil Study Students were asked questions pertaining to: Current Recreation Participation The Impact of Perceived Time Constraints Dealing with Time Pressures Time Management Strategies Does not enough time mean not enough time?
292 surveys distributed 281 surveys included in final sample The Findings
Perceived Time Constraints Lack of time due to: school work family commitments friend commitments volunteering difficulty managing my free time not having time for a long enough session
Impact of Perceived Time Constraints Females expressed that they do not have enough time due to friend commitments and school. Males were found to have more difficulty managing their time. Those living off campus were more constrained due to work obligations. Those living in Greek housing were more constrained by friend commitments.
Spending and Perceiving Time Sleeping, eating, and getting ready Class, homework, studying Working, volunteering Free time activities Attending to family obligations Attending to friend obligations Attending to organization obligations
How Students Spend Their Time Most students spent a majority of their time sleeping, eating, and getting ready. Half of students spent at least 20 hours per week attending class and doing homework. A majority (66.2%) of students reported that they have between 5 and 24 hours of free time per week. Two-thirds of students reported not working or volunteering
Do Students Feel Pressed for Time? Females were more likely to feel pressed for time. 21 hours of volunteering was the cut off, as those volunteering up to 20 hours did not feel pressured for time. Those who rarely participated in group exercise were more pressured than those participating more and those who do not participate at all.
Victims of Time Limitations Less than 20% of subjects responded that they are often unable to complete tasks/activities due to time limitations. Conversely, 41% of subjects indicated that time limitations nearly never impede their abilities to complete tasks/activities.
Students and Procrastinating One-half of subjects reported nearly always procrastinating. Less than one-fifth reported nearly never procrastinating. Those involved in 1-3 organizations more likely to procrastinate than those not involved in organizations. Occasional gamers are more likely to procrastinate than those who never game at all.
Overestimating Time Approximately 40% of subjects frequently overestimate their available time. Overestimating time was a significant factor when compared with group exercise participation. Occasional participants and daily participants were more likely to overestimate time than those participating 1 to 4 times per week.
Time Management Strategies Choosing shorter, less enjoyable activities Structuring ones day Multi-tasking Keeping a close eye on the clock Cutting activity sessions short Altering sleep patterns Deleting items from schedule Cutting work/volunteer hours Cutting studying/homework hours
Use of Time Management Strategies Females were more likely to use time management strategies than males. Regular (3-4 times per week) gamers are more likely to cut back homework hours than occasional (less than 3 times per week) gamers. Greeks are more likely to structure their day.
I dont have enough time. I have no interest. I would rather spend my time on something else. I have other obligations. I do not want to spend that much time doing that activity. I do not have the financial resources to participate. I do not have any friends to participate with. I do not want to hurt someones feelings.
A Genuine Excuse? Infrequent gamers are more likely to use this as an excuse for no interest than those who never game. Sophomores are more likely to use this as an excuse for wanting to spend time on something else. Daily group exercise participants are more likely to use this as an excuse for other obligations. Daily informal sports participants are more likely to use this as an excuse for not that much time. Occasional club sport participants indicated using not enough time to mean no friends.
Constrained, or Not Constrained? Students honestly believe they are victims of time constraints. Six of the seven constraints had significance. Half of students frequently felt pressed for time. Only 50 students indicated that they were unable to complete activities/tasks due to time constraints.
Inaccurate Perceptions Many students could only account for 60-90 hours in a week. Almost 20% of students indicated that they receive less than 15 hours of sleep per week. A majority of students indicated having 5-24 hours of free time per week.
Excuses There is evidence that students are not completely truthful when they say they do not have time for an activity. Subjects participating in sport were more likely to use these phrases synonymously. Underclassmen were more likely to use these phrases interchangeably.
Not a Priority Actual time was not found to be a limiting factor in recreation participation. Sport may not be a priority for some.
Unworthy of My Time Use of not enough time could mean: Those already participating hold sport as a high priority. Non participants do not want to partake in activities that they deem as unworthy.
Difficulty Tracking Time The difficulty subjects had in tracking their time may impact how they perceive time constraints. May speak to the priority, or interest, of students activities. Boredom and enjoyment play a factor in how one perceives time. A quality sport experience is in the eye of the beholder.
Sample Size and Selection Larger Sample Variety of majors Undergraduate and Graduate students Random Sampling
How Do Students Prioritize? Findings suggest that sport may be a low priority for non-participants. Further study is needed on how students prioritize activities.
What are Students Priorities? If students are not participating in sport, what are they doing? Future studies should collect information on what activities students participate in, and why they choose these activities.
Avoiding the Truth I dont have enough time is a cop out for other constraints. Future research should focus on why this is so. Are there stigmas attached to other constraints?
Bibliography Jackson, E. L. (1993). Recognizing patterns of leisure constraints: Results from alternative analyses. Journal of Leisure Research, 25, 129-149. Robinson, J. P., & Godbey, G. (1997). Time for life: The surprising way Americans use their time. University Park: The Pennsylvania University Press. Rosen, C. S. (2000). Integrating stage and continuum models to explain processing of exercise messages and exercise initiation among sedentary college students. Health Psychology, 19, 172-180. Young, S. J., Ross, C. M., & Barcelona, R. J. (2003). Perceived constraints by college students to participation in campus recreational sports programs. Recreational Sports Journal, 27(2), 47-62.