Physical activity during leisure and commuting in Tianjin, China

Gang Hu, Heikki Pekkarinen, Osmo Hänninen, Zhijie Yu, Huiguang Tian, Zeyu Guo, Aulikki Nissinen
Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2002, 80 (12): 933-8

OBJECTIVE: To investigate physical activity during leisure time and commuting among persons aged 15-69 years in the urban population of Tianjin, China, and to assess its associations with demographic and health-related characteristics.

METHODS: In 1996 a cross-sectional survey of 2002 males and 1974 females provided information on physical activity during leisure time and commuting and on demographics and health behaviours.

FINDINGS: No leisure-time physical activity was engaged in by 67% of females and 61% of males. However, only 4% of females and 9% of males reported an absence of physical activity during commuting. The mean duration of leisure-time physical activity for the whole population was about 10 min per day. The average commuting time on foot or by bicycle was about 30 min. Leisure-time physical activity was more frequent among highly educated people, people with high incomes, white-collar workers, married people, non-smokers, or people commuting on foot or by bicycle than among other people. Persons with low incomes, male blue-collar workers and married people were more likely than others to engage in 30 min or more per day of physical activity on foot or by bicycle when commuting.

CONCLUSION: People in Tianjin engaged in a high level of physical activity when commuting and a low level of leisure-time physical activity.

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