This study investigated the association between a change in travel mode to school and one-year changes in physical activity (PA) among children in Hong Kong. Data from 677 children aged 7–10 years (56% boys) who participated in the Understanding Children’s Activity and Nutrition (UCAN) study were analyzed. During the 2010/11 and 2011/12 school years, the children wore an accelerometer for a week and their parents completed a questionnaire about the children’s modes of travel to school and nonschool destinations. Associations between a change in the mode of travel to school and changes in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) were determined using linear mixed models, adjusting for covariates. Compared with children who consistently used passive travel modes, a change from passive to active travel to school was positively associated with changes in the percentage of time spent in MVPA (b = 1.32, 95% CI = 0.63, 2.02) and MVPA min/day (b = 10.97, 95% CI = 5.26, 16.68) on weekdays. Similar results were found for weekly MVPA. Promoting active travel to school may help to combat age-related decline in PA for some Chinese children. However, maintaining active travel to school may not be sufficient to halt the decreasing trend in MVPA with age.
Wendy Y. Huang, Stephen H. Wong and Gang He
Wendy Yajun Huang, Stephen Heung-Sang Wong, Martin Chi-Sang Wong, Cindy Hui-Ping Sit, Raymond Kim-Wai Sum and Gang He
Hong Kong’s 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity (PA) for Children and Youth is the first evidence-based synthesis of various indicators related to individual behaviors that contribute to overall PA levels, settings and sources of influence, and strategies and investments in Hong Kong.
Following a standardized protocol, currently best available data for Hong Kong youth were collated and evaluated by an expert consensus panel on 9 indicators (5 activity behaviors and 4 influences on these behaviors).
Less than half of the children and youth met the recommended PA level. As a result, a D grade was given for Overall PA levels. Organized Sport Participation and Active Transportation received grades of C- and B, respectively. Sedentary Behaviors and School scored a C grade. Community and the Built Environment scored a grade of B. Family Influence received as low a score as Overall PA (D). Active Play and Government were not graded due to incomplete data.
PA levels are low and sedentary behaviors are high for children and youth in Hong Kong. Promising policies exist in schools and features of community and the built environment are favorable. Increasing family support should be emphasized for future PA promotion.