A comparison of physical fitness of children with different socio-economic backgrounds in Hong Kong

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A comparison of physical fitness of children with different socio-economic backgrounds in Hong Kong


Author: Leung, Wai Han Winkie
Title: A comparison of physical fitness of children with different socio-economic backgrounds in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2011
Subject: Physical fitness for children -- China -- Hong Kong.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xi, 98 leaves : col. ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2507558
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/6677
Abstract: The aims of this study are to explore the health-related fitness parameters of children aged 5-6 with different socio-economic backgrounds in Hong Kong and to investigate if there is any correlation between different components of fitness and their socio-economic backgrounds. Ninety-nine subjects from four different kindergartens were studied. They were divided into 3 groups according to family income, namely the high income group(HIG), the medium income group(MIG) and the low income group(LIG). A physical fitness test battery named 'Fitnessgram 8.3' was used to measure individual physical fitness parameters. The test was composed of six sub-tests: BMI, PACER, sit-and-reach, sit-up, push-up and trunk lift. A dietary habit questionnaire and an activity habits and family background questionnaire were delivered to the subjects' parents to collect information of their socio-economic backgrounds and dietary and activity habits. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to compare the fitness among children and their socio-economic backgrounds. The results revealed a significant difference (F=2.67, p=0.002) of children fitness between the 3 soclo-economlc groups. The HIG showed better performances in the strength items. There was a significant difference in the performances of sit-up (F=12.82, p<0.001) and push-up (F=7.01, p=0.01) between the 3 groups. 87% of children from the HIG and only 20% from the LIG involved in sports training. There is positive association of sports training and muscle strength. On the other hand, the HIG had the highest rate of overweight (14%) and obesity (21%). The dietary habits of the 3 groups were similar and there was no significant difference in time spent in sports activities and playing in playground between different groups. Over half of the total subjects participated less amount of physical activity the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended. More than 50% total subjects consumed the government recommended portion of fruit and meat, but consumed less recommended portion of vegetable and diary product. The relation between health-related fitness parameters and socio-economic status was not clear in this study. Children from the HIG had better performances in the strength tasks, but a higher prevalence of overweight as well. Over 50% subjects did not meet the recommended physical activity level and consume inadequate vegetable and diary product. Promotion of daily physical activity and healthy diet should be started in kindergarten. Moreover, there is positive relationship of sports training and fitness, sports training is recommended to the young children.

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