Children in Taiwan receive F grade for overall physical activity

06/11/2019 08:19 PM
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Image taken from NCHU
Image taken from NCHU's official website

Taipei, June 11 (CNA) A joint study by two universities in Taichung showed Tuesday that children and adolescents in Taiwan as well as their peers in South Korea and China are extremely physically inactive.

The "2018 Taiwan Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth" conducted by National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) and National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS) provides a summary and grades current levels of physical activity, related health behavior and influential factors in Taiwan.

Local data for children and adolescents (5-17 years old) from 2010-2018 were used to measure 10 indicators, including overall physical activity; organized sport and physical activity participation; active playing; active transportation; and sedentary behavior.

The rest of the indicators are physical fitness; family and peers; school; community and the built environment; government strategies; and investment.

The report, which took a year to complete, also compares the physical activity of children in Taiwan with those in 49 countries and regions worldwide, based on "Global Matrix 3.0" grades compiled by Canadian-based Activity Healthy Kids Global Alliance.

NTUS Vice President Chang Chen-kang (張振崗) said Taiwan scored moderately in many of the indicators, except in the area of overall physical activity, in which it received an "F" grade, the same as South Korea and China.

Results showed that children spend too much of their time on electronic devices, contributing to their lack of physical activity, Chang said.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children need to partake in a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day, he added.

Based on the study results, only 12.1 percent of 15-18 year-olds met the WHO standard, while the results were even worse for younger children, with only 5.4 percent of 13-15 year-olds meeting the WHO standard.

In addition, only 5.8 percent of 7-12 year-old boys and 2.8 percent of girls participated in moderate physical activity more than 4 times a week.

It is hoped the report will help raise awareness of the lack of physical activity and its impact on children in Taiwan, NCHU President Shieu Fuh-sheng (薛富盛) said.

(By Chao Li-yen and Ko Lin)


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