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Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2011 Jan 20;8:3. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-8-3.

Prevalence of exercise and non-exercise physical activity in Chinese adolescents.

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Department of Community Medicine and School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.


Non-exercise physical activity (NEPA) is an important part of energy expenditure. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of exercise and NEPA among adolescents. In the HKSOS project 2006-2007, the proportions of Hong Kong Chinese adolescents (N=32,005) achieving 60-minute exercise and 60-minute NEPA per day were analyzed. Exercise was defined as structured and planned physical activities, and NEPA was defined as unstructured and unplanned physical activities including walking for transportation and climbing stairs. The prevalence of exercise was higher in boys than girls (after school: 63.8% vs 39.6%; holidays: 78.7% vs 60.0%), but the prevalence of NEPA in boys was similar to that in girls (after school: 72.2% vs 68.0%; holidays: 80.3% vs 79.4%). In general, the prevalence of both exercise and NEPA decreased with age in boys and girls, but was more marked for exercise than NEPA. In conclusion, the prevalence of exercise was lower in adolescent girls than boys, and decreased more rapidly with age than NEPA. NEPA seems to be easier to accumulate than exercise among adolescents regardless of sex and age.

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