Physical activity and associated socio-demographic factors among school adolescents in Jiangsu Province, China

Zumin Shi, Nanna Lien, Bernadette Nirmal Kumar, Gerd Holmboe-Ottesen

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83 Citations (Scopus)


Background.: Obesity prevalence is increasing among adolescents in China, especially in urban areas and among higher socio-economic strata. Physical inactivity may be one of the causes. We examined socio-demographic differences in physical activity among school adolescents in Jiangsu Province. Methods.: In 2002, 824 adolescents (12-14 years) in 8 schools filled in a self administered questionnaire on physical activity, sedentary behaviors and socio-demographic characteristics. Results.: In girls, low SES elicited the highest physical activity score, mainly derived from housework. More boys (49.1%) than girls (41%) had vigorous physical activity (VPA) ≥3 times/week. Associations between VPA and residence, age, SES were not significant. 88% of the adolescents were actively commuting to schools. Boys with high SES or high education fathers had the lowest percentage walking to school. The students spent daily on average 10.8 h on studying, however, little time was spent on watching TV or playing PC games. Conclusions.: Active commuting to school was common among the adolescents. However, the sedentary activity level is high. Physical activity was negatively associated with SES.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-221
Number of pages4
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • China
  • Physical activity
  • Socio-economic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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