Prevalence of physical activity among Chinese adults: results from the International Collaborative Study of Cardiovascular Disease in Asia

Am J Public Health. 2005 Sep;95(9):1631-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2004.044743. Epub 2005 Jul 28.


Objectives: Determining physical activity levels in the community provides a context for the development and implementation of programs aimed at increasing these activity levels. Therefore, we assessed overall, work-related, and leisure-time physical activity in a representative sample of Chinese adults, aged 35 to 74 years, using data from the International Collaborative Study of Cardiovascular Disease in Asia.

Methods: Being physically active was defined as participating in 30 or more minutes of moderate or vigorous activity daily. Work-related and leisure-time physical activities were defined as being physically active and participating in any moderate or vigorous activity at work or during leisure time, respectively.

Results: In rural and urban China, 78.1% and 21.8% of residents, respectively, were physically active; 75.8% and 16.5%, respectively, participated in work-related activity; and 28.9% and 7.9%, respectively, participated in leisure-time physical activity. In both rural and urban settings, younger adults, men, and southern residents were more likely to be physically active and to participate in work-related and leisure-time physical activity than older adults, women, and northern residents.

Conclusions: Intervention strategies to promote leisure-time physical activity, especially among urban residents, should be considered a major health priority in China.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Leisure Activities
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity*
  • Occupational Health
  • Program Development
  • Rural Population
  • Urban Population