College students lack of fitness awareness

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 11, 2012
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Although Chinese athletes have managed to come in second in terms of the number of gold medals awarded at the London Summer Olympics, a recent survey indicates that many of the country's university students are reluctant to engage in athletic activities themselves.

A survey conducted by the 21st Century Education Research Institute in cooperation with and showed that among more than 4,000 college students, 44.2 percent believe that the overall physical fitness of Chinese people is just "so-so."

Among the students, 58.7 percent said they exercise no more than twice a week, while 22.5 percent said they almost never exercise.

Most respondents blamed the situation on an imbalance between the overemphasization of athletic achievement and the poor promotion of fitness awareness among the general public. Many students said their own physical education has been almost nonexistent.

A lack of exercise is a major factor contributing to both childhood obesity and nearsightedness, which are the most common health problems for young Chinese.

Figures from the Ministry of Education show that 8 percent of urban Chinese children between the ages of 10 and 12 are obese, while another 15 percent are overweight.

Last year, the Ministry of Education called for boosted efforts to ensure one hour of physical exercise daily for primary and middle school students. Physical education in higher education institutes has largely been ignored.

Some 56.2 percent of respondents said they would like universities to organize more physical activities for students, as well as lower fees for the use of sports venues.

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