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Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Sep;27(9):1093-9.

Physical activity and inactivity in Chinese school-aged youth: the China Health and Nutrition Survey.

Author information

  • 1Department of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University East, Mesa, AZ 85212, USA. Tudor-Locke@asu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe physical activity (PA) and inactivity levels and patterns in Chinese school children (aged 6-18 y).

DESIGN:

PA and inactivity were assessed in a youth cohort enrolled in the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) in 1997.

SUBJECTS:

A total of 1423 males (11.5+/-3.2 y) and 1252 females (11.5+/-3.3 y).

MEASUREMENTS:

PA and inactivity were assessed by self-reported usual activity (questionnaire). Children under 10 y were assisted by parents.

RESULTS:

Approximately 84% of Chinese youth actively commute to school for a median of 100-150 min/week. A total of 72% engage in in-school moderate/vigorous (MOD/VIG) PA for a median of 90-110 min/week. Relatively few children ( approximately 8%) participate in any MOD/VIG PA outside of school. A total of 72% engage in study-related activities outside of school for a median of 420 min/week. Only 8% of Chinese school children, regardless of gender, watch television > or =2 h/day; less than 1% watch > or =4 h/day. Chores related to housework are not a part of life for Chinese school children; fewer than 20% performed these tasks.

CONCLUSION:

Chinese youth are unique compared to those in other developing countries because they do not perform household chores. Instead, they are under pressure to achieve scholastically. Participation in MOD/VIG PA outside of school is almost nonexistent. Current television watching habits are relatively low compared to developed countries and walking/biking is a common form of commuting. The descriptive analysis herein represents the foundation upon which future longitudinal studies of PA in this population will be based.

PMID:
12917716
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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