Studies have highlighted the prevalence of sedentary behaviours in the university
student population and have noted the significant potential for the promotion of
physical activity in educational settings for young adults. Following the
epidemiological procedure and ecological approach, the main purpose of this thesis
focused on the university student population to review the previous research results by
a systematic review method (first study), to compare the differences between UK and
Taiwanese participants' and relevant effective variables by using a quantitative study method (second study), to have a deeper understanding of the Taiwanese university students' physical activity behaviours by using a qualitative study method (third study), then to evaluate the efficiency of designed interventions in university settings (fourth study). The whole thesis applied the ecological approach to classify the survey variables' effect to university students' physical activity behaviours. A total of 55 published papers were reviewed and majority of studies were
conducted in the US using a cross-sectional design. Finding variables consistently
related to university students physical activity level were female gender(-), attitude self-efficacy perceived barrier (-), family support (+), physical activity
and sport history (+). These survey variables were more consistent in the literature and corresponded to previous adults' study. Some survey variables linked to university student were also found in the literature but still need more studies for this target population to come to a robust conclusion. Seven days recall design
measurement and stage of changes survey for physical activity levels were more identified and have been more frequent using in the reviewed papers. Also, more studies on different ethnicity, environmental variables and intervention with different
methodology such as qualitative study method are needed to enrich the knowledge of
university's students' physical activity behaviours. (Continues...).
Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.