Factors of physical activity among Chinese children and adolescents: A systematic review

Congchao Lu*, Ronald P. Stolk, Pieter J. J. Sauer, Anna Sijtsma, Rikstje Wiersma, Guowei Huang, Eva Corpeleijn

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

74 Citaten (Scopus)
774 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Lack of physical activity is a growing problem in China, due to the fast economic development and changing living environment over the past two decades. The aim of this review is to summarize the factors related to physical activity in Chinese children and adolescents during this distinct period of development.

Methods: A systematic search was finished on Jan 10th, 2017, and identified 2200 hits through PubMed and Web of Science. English-language published studies were included if they reported statistical associations between factors and physical activity. Adapted criteria from the Strengthening The Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) statement and evaluation of the quality of prognosis studies in systematic reviews (QUIPS) were used to assess the risk of bias of the included studies. Related factors that were reported in at least three studies were summarized separately for children and adolescents using a semi-quantitative method.

Results: Forty two papers (published 2002-2016) were included. Most designs were cross-sectional (79%), and most studies used questionnaires to assess physical activity. Sample size was above 1000 in 18 papers (43%). Thirty seven studies (88%) showed acceptable quality by methodological quality assessment. Most studies reported a low level of physical activity. Boys were consistently more active than girls, the parental physical activity was positively associated with children and adolescents' physical activity, children in suburban/rural regions showed less activity than in urban regions, and, specifically in adolescents, self-efficacy was positively associated with physical activity. Family socioeconomic status and parental education were not associated with physical activity in children and adolescents.

Conclusions: The studies included in this review were large but mostly of low quality in terms of study design (cross-sectional) and methods (questionnaires). Parental physical activity and self-efficacy are promising targets for future physical activity promotion programmes. The low level of physical activity raises concern, especially in suburban/rural regions. Future research is required to enhance our understanding of other influences, such as the physical environment, especially in early childhood.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftInternational journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Nummer van het tijdschrift36
StatusPublished - 21-mrt-2017

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