Online Program

Outside School Physical Activity Engagement among Chinese Youth: A Longitudinal Study from 1997-2011

Monday, November 2, 2015

Ying Li, PhD, CHES, Department of Health and Human Development, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA
Hui Bian, CHES, phd, East Carolina University, Greenville

Along with rapid economical development, decreased physical activity level among Chinese adults is well documented in literature. However, few studies have examined longitudinal physical activity change among Chinese youth. The purpose of this study is to examine the trend of outside school physical activity engagement among Chinese youth by analyzing secondary data collected from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) between 1997-2011.


The CHNS is an on going nation wide survey that recruited over 26,000 individuals in nine provinces in China. The data regarding outside school physical activity among in school youth aged between 6-18 were extracted from the CHNS longitudinal data of 1997-2011. Linear mixed models were applied to explore the trend and examine the factors related to the physical activity level among Chinese youth.


The variable Year had significant effects on the frequency of general physical exercise, and the time spent in gymnastics/dancing/acrobatics activities, but not track/filed/swimming/ball games activity, while controlling age, gender, and random effects. Comparing to females, males exercised more and more likely to participate in sports such as track/filed/swimming/ball games. In addition, youth aged 16-18 played more ball games than other age group youth.


Outside school physical activity engagement increased by year among Chinese youth, but the increase is slow and varies by type of the activity, age, and gender.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
describe the longitudinal trend of outside school physical activity engagement among Chinese youth between 1997-2 list the factors that influence the trend

Keyword(s): Physical Activity, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an associate professor with adequate training in conducting research related to health behaviors and health promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.