Physical Activity Levels of Chinese Youths and the Association with Physical Fitness and Demographic Variables: The Hong Kong Youth Fitness Study

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Sai-Chuen Hui, Roy Chin Ming Chan, Stephen Heung Sang Wong, Amy Sau Ching Ha, and Youlian Hong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Physical activity levels and fitness profiles of western youth were well documented. However, few large-scale studies were found in these areas on Chinese youth. The purposes of this study were to determine the physical activity levels of Chinese youth and its association with health-related fitness and demographic variables. A citywide fitness survey which consisted of 2,221 Chinese youths from Hong Kong secondary schools--boys: N = 1,162 (52%), Mage = 14.3 years, SD = 1.6; girls: N = 1,059 (48%), M age = 14.7 years, SD = 1.6--was conducted. Besides of informed consent, demographic information including year of study, school districts, school types, parental education levels were obtained. Physical activity levels (PAL) were asked using a 0-10 activity scale modified from the Jackson Activity Coding (Jackson et al., 1990) and the Godin-Shephard Activity Questionnaire (Godin & Shephard, 1985). Aerobic fitness estimated from 1-mile run time, flexibility scores measured from sit-and-reach test, push-up score, c adence curl-up score, and percentage of body fat were also collected. Results indicated that 18.3% of Chinese youth were sedentary (PAL from 0 to 2), 50.2% were somewhat active (PAL from 3 to 6), and 31.5% were active (PAL from 7 to 10) enough to achieve health benefits according to the criterion given by previous literatures. Moreover, Chi-square analyses indicated that the activity levels declined significantly (p [less than] . …