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Original Research Feasibility of a Campus-Based “Buddy System” to Promote Physical Activity: Canadian Students’ Perspectives

Objective: To explore the characteristics of a university-wide buddy system that students would be receptive to using. Methods: This study targeted a heterogeneous sample of undergraduate university students age 18 to 25 y. An experienced moderator, using a semi-structured interview guide, conducted 13 focus groups (n = 65). Focus group discussions were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive content analysis was conducted independently by two researchers. Measures were incorporated throughout to ensure data trustworthiness. Results: The value of this campus-based physical activity intervention was emphasized by the vast majority of participants. Five main themes exemplifi ed students' preferences: sign-up methods; matching criteria; social components; policies and procedures; and contact methods. Conclusion: Students confi rmed that a campusbased program tailored to their needs and preferences will be more effective than those to which they currently have access. Given the small number of physically active Canadian university students, a campus-based program that is appealing is important for the health of this population.

Authors: Patricia Tucker, Jennifer D. Irwin

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