Review of physical activity prevalence of Asian school-age children and adolescents

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2013 May;25(3):227-38. doi: 10.1177/1010539513481494. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Overweight and obese populations in Asia are high and increasing rapidly. Physical activity prevalence studies have found low physical activity rates among Asian school-age children and adolescents. The purpose of this review is to establish a baseline for physical activity rates in Asian school-age children and adolescents and serve as a platform for additional research. Thirty articles published between 2000 and 2011 on physical activity prevalence of school-age children and adolescents were included in the review. Fourteen studies were conducted in East Asia, 10 in Southeast Asia, 2 in South Asia, and 2 in West Asia. Studies used subjective methods (questionnaires or diaries) and objective methods (accelerometers or heart rate monitors). Although nearly all studies found low physical activity levels, it was not possible to provide an accurate picture due to an absence of standardized, reliable, and economically viable measurement tools.

Keywords: Asia; adolescents; children; physical activity prevalence; review; school-age.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Adolescent
  • Asia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity* / physiology
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult