RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY PARTICIPATION AMONG ACADEMIC STAFF OF AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY, ZARIA, KADUNA STATE

ABSTRACT
Consistent recreational programme has been justified by scholars that it improves the morale and fitness of workers. Recreation therefore, increases the efficiency of workers. This is the reason why many developed nations have set aside specific periods in between working hours for compulsory recreation for workers. How well this is being undertaken in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and what nature of constraints could affect recreational activities of Staffs is what this research is concern with. The studyexamined recreational activity participatory constraints among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University;identified its patterns and preferences and provided explanations as well as suggestions on ways to enhance recreational activities in the university. The Ex-post facto research design was used in the study on a population sample size of 150 respondents from the total population out of 1535 academic staff in both Kongo and Main Campuses. The administration of the questionnaire which was the instrument for data collection was done in a simple random way. The data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. From the results of data analysed and interpreted it was found that that the low rate of staffs‟ participationin recreational activities could be traced to certain factors liked distance of facilities (37.7%), nature of work and work time in the office (37.7% and 30.2%) as well as psychological and physiological shown in Table 4.9. Furthermore, it was found that, non-participation in recreational activities by academic staff of the university was due to lack of the awareness of the importance of the recreational activities to the contribution of good health life living of the staff as well as the inability of the University authority in creating a recreational week quarterly to address this. Based on this findings, it was recommended that, enlightenment campaign should be carried out vigorously through the use of ABU Samaru FM and Special official bulletins to educate the staff on the important of recreational activities. The university authority can also go a step further by institutionalizing a recreational week quarterly in order to increase the participation of staff in recreational activities as well as provided ease of access and transportation services to the facilities to address the complaints about the distance to such facilities.


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1       Background of the Study
Recreation is the expenditure of time with intent to gain some refreshment (Alia, 2000). It is a break from monotony and a division from the daily routine. Recreation also is a means of escaping from work boredom and/or a body renewal in preparation for routine and necessary work (Alia, 2000). It is vital to good living, it not only refreshes the body, mind and spirit from the daily demands of life, it also draws us into the creation and “re-creation” of self (Swann, 2004).

Recreational activities involve an element of enjoyment and happiness obtained from engaging in something one likes. Different recreational activities serve as sources of immense pleasure and provide relaxation to one‟s mind and body. Recreational activity in this study, therefore, is used to explain those physical activities engaged in during free time for the purpose of personal sensation of wellbeing, increasing satisfaction, entertainment, rejuvenation and reducing stress (Alia, 2000).

In this modern era, a consistent recreational programme has been justified by the claims that it improves the morale and fitness of workers as well as the traditional benefits of increased productivity (Alia, 2000). Some of the recreational activities help us in developing leadership qualities and interpersonal skills. Recreation, therefore, increases the efficiency of workers. This is the reason why many developed nations have set aside specific periods in between working hours for compulsory recreation for workers(Ogu&Eneogwe, 2007).

The benefits of regular recreational activities include insurance discounts, decline in absenteeism, lower turnover, lower health care claims, increased job efficiency, improved communication between workers and employees, improved employee relations and recruitment of high quality personnel (Ogu and Eneogwe, 2007). However, given the life style of many people, especially in developing nations, engagement in recreational activities appears to be on the decline, most especially due to the state of such economies, which demand the input of extra hours to earn additional income to take care of day to day needs. This trend does not exclude staff of educational institutions in Nigeria.

Against this back drop, there is an urgent need for proper management of work and leisure in educational institutions such as universities, so as to derive optimum benefits that consistent recreational activities can provide (Omolawon and Quadri, 2002).The academic staff normally experience academic pressure on a routine basis, resulting into boredom and tiredness. Academic staff work mostly involves reading, writing, lectures and research. Activities that are highly energy sapping. Therefore, it would be most appropriate for this crop of workers to find an outlet to let out the stress and strain of life. Staff ought to be positively engaged during their free time to make good use of it, instead of engaging in negative and antisocial activities, such as drunkenness (Ameafuna and Achugbu, 2009).

To achieve this, it is necessary to begin to investigate issues around participation in recreation by groups such as academic staff of universities. This is necessary as a precursor to identifying patterns and preferences, so as to determine the best approach to sustain or improve participation in recreation by academic staff of universities, for the benefits of their health and wellbeing, and for the fact that they train the manpower that support the economy and protect the Nation.

1.2       Statement of the Problem
In most Nigerian universities, academic staff works nearly all days of the week in order to meet up with the demands of teaching, research and personal development. This way of life has created high tension and emotional problems among academic staff in Nigerian Universities. As a result, only about 22%of academic staff can be observed to engage in recreational activities. This development may threaten their health and result into low productivity because, according to the American Institute of Stress (2011), such lifestyles can lead to conditions triggered by stress and manifesting in heart and other problems.

The attitude to recreation among academic staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria appears to conform to the general pattern that reflects low interest and negligence. Casual observations of some academic staff in Ahmadu Bello University show a high rate of inactivity which was of a primary concern because of its resultant health consequences. Previous studies shows that many academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria are yet to fully understand the values of participation in recreational activities and the benefit of participating in it (Akogun, 2006 and Ugbabe, 2009). This is despite the efforts of the university sports office and the university authority to sensitize academics on the need to engage in recreational activities after the day‟s work. Coupled with the fact that, there are several functional recreational centers such as staff club, Basketball Court, Football Pitch, Athletic Tracks, Table Tennis, Lawn Tennis Court,and Gymnasiumin Ahmadu Bello Universities which staff members can utilize for recreational purposes, in order to enhance their fitness and quality of life during their free period, but these recreational centers appear to be underutilized and in some cases almost abandoned.

It is in view of this and considering the investment on sporting facilities, viz-a-viz the benefits they can offer to general wellbeing of academic staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria towards improved productivity that the study examinedrecreational activityparticipatory constraints among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University. This is an attempt to identify patterns, preferences and provide explanations for the state of things.

1.3       Research Questions
The following research questions were raised for this study:

1.      What is the level of awareness of academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on the benefits of recreation?

2.      What are the determinants of participation or non-participation in recreational activities among Ahmadu Bello University academic staff?

3.      How can participation in recreational activities be improved among the staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria?

4.      What is the appropriate strategy to stimulate recreational interest among staffs?

1.4       Aim of the Study
The aim of the study is to assess participation in recreational activities among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, with a view to identifying constraints and proffering suggestions for improved participation.

1.5       Objectives of the Study
The objectives of this study are to:

1.      Establish recreational patterns among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

2.      Characterize determinant factors of recreational patterns among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

3.      Assess the efforts of university authority‟s in improving the participation of staff in recreational activities.

4.      Develop a management and operational framework for improved participation in recreation by academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

1.6       Scope of the Study
The scope of this study is on recreational activity participation among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. The study was specificallydelimited to level of awareness, determinant factors of participation, improvement among academic staff, management and operational framework for improved participation among academic staff of Ahmadu Bello University. The study considered the patronages of recreational facilities in the campuses by both academic and non-academic staffs of the university.

1.7       Significance of the Study
The result of the research will be of great benefit to the university authority in the provision of recreational facilities and equipment for the use of the Academic Staff and students of the University and members of the University community and various tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The result will further be of benefit to the government, in terms of guiding the provision of funds to tertiary institutions most especially Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for the management and maintenance of existing recreational facilities and equipment.

The result of the research will also be useful to individuals and corporate bodies that are interested in the supply, provision and management of recreational facilities for Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Also, the outcome of this study will serve as a document which could be used to carry out further work in related areas regarding participation in recreational activities. It will further help in developing a healthy behaviour in the participation of recreational activities among its target audience.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 75 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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