2024年04月18日星期四
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Are Chinese Children Meeting the Recommended Levels of Physical Activity?

Are Chinese Children Meeting the Recommended Levels of Physical Activity?The efficacy of physical activity during early and adolescent stages of childhood is relatively high, prima...

Are Chinese children Meeting the Recommended Levels of Physical Activity?

The efficacy of physical activity during early and adolescent stages of childhood is relatively high, primarily attributed to the routine activities arranged by schools. However, adolescence quickly passes by. For instance, in Hong Kong, 64% of boys and 40% of girls engage in the government-recommended one hour of daily physical activity after school, surpassing the figures for the United States where only 37% of adolescents (45% of boys and 27% of girls) achieve the same level of daily exercise. Regarding adolescent weight, 7.5% of Chinese youth are classified as obese, and 13% as overweight, whereas the figures for obese youth in the United States reach 17%.

Despite providing opportunities for physical activity on school campuses, such as during recess and physical education classes, Chinese students still fail to meet the nation's recommended levels of exercise. Schools and parents should encourage students to make time for additional physical activity, while reducing sedentary time at home. Reducing the time spent watching television or playing video games while increasing participation in outdoor activities can significantly enhance the physical and mental well-being of children.

Why has there been a sharp decline in physical activity among Chinese middle school students? One perspective suggests that students in China have grown accustomed to the heavy burden of academic tasks. Surveys indicate that middle school students in Shanghai and Hong Kong spend approximately 150 to 160 minutes on homework each day, with even longer hours dedicated to homework on weekends, amounting to about 200 minutes. Furthermore, some children spend over an hour each day sedentary, watching television, playing computer games, or using tablets and smartphones. In contrast, in the United Kingdom, 9 to 11-year-old primary school students spend only 39 minutes on homework each day, and secondary school students need a maximum of 90 to 150 minutes. These data are presented to raise awareness of the issue of children meeting the recommended levels of physical activity.

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