Physical activity among adolescents in Taiwan

LJ Chen, AM Haase, KR Fox

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Most of the studies investigating prevalence and correlates of physical activity have been conducted in Western countries. To date, there are no internationally published data with nationally representative samples on physical activity prevalence among Taiwanese adolescents and little is known about the relevant factors associated with activity and inactivity. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of physical activity in Taiwanese adolescents and to identify associated socio-demographic and behavioral variables. Methods: Data were extracted from the 2001 National Health Interview Survey in Taiwan. The sample was 2235 adolescents (1157 boys and 1078 girls) aged 12-18 years. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine associations of demographic and behavioral variables with physical activity. Results: Although 80% of adolescents reported engaging in some physical activity, only 28.4% of the sample met recommended guidelines. Boys and urban adolescents were more active than girls and rural adolescents; and the prevalence of physical activity declined with age. Mean sedentary time was 9.5 hours each day. Though the proportions of non-students, regular smokers or drinkers were small, around half of them were physically inactive. Conclusions: The percentage of Taiwanese adolescents meeting recommended amounts of physical activity for health is low, particularly, girls in the 15-18-age range being the least active. Associated factors with physical activity include both demographic and health behavior variables (e.g. age, gender, smoking). These data provide a baseline for future comparisons and preliminary identification of groups at higher risk of low physical activity in Taiwan.
    Translated title of the contributionPhysical activity among adolescents in Taiwan
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)354 - 361
    Number of pages8
    JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition
    Volume16 (2)
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher: HEC Press

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