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Selected Development Project
Project Title Physical Fitness
Principal Investigator Professor. Chung Wai Yee, Joanne
Area of Research Project
Social Development
Project Period
From 3/2010 To 6/2014

Project Objective listed in the original proposal are as follows:

  • To foster school partnership for promoting physical fitness and healthy lifestyle in the community
  • To establish a comprehensive database of physical fitness and lifestyle parameters which provide a platform for academic research and school health policy debates
  • To establish a model of interdisciplinary collaboration for research and community services in enhancing health of schoolchildren and empowering school teachers

Methods Used

The study was divided into five stages:

  • School briefing, ethical clearance for study, obtaining consent for participation from school principals & parents & students, training of school teachers and HPE students; and, computerization of questionnaires
  • Data collection
  • Data analysis
  • Problem identification
  • Protocol development

Validated instrument was applied in this project:

  • Physical Fitness Testing Protocol of the Department of Education and China Sports Bureau [ 國家體質健康標準 ( 試行方案 ) ---- 中華人民共和國教育部 國家體育總局 學 生體質健康標準研究課題組 ];
  • General Health School Survey Questionnaires (GHSSQ) adapted from the World Health Organization (2009);
  • Habitual physical activity (HPA) (Baecke et al., 1982)

Data collection:

  • Physical fitness assessment was collected through field test.
  • GHSSQ and HPA was collected through electronic questionnaires programmed as web-based and stored in central database.

Expected Impacts

  • Schools in the community were empowered in physical fitness assessment, healthy lifestyle assessment and the necessary health education skills.
  • Knowledge built from school children in Tai Po district was extended to teachers and students in districts.
  • It enriched our dataset to a larger scale and facilitated epidemiological studies on physical fitness and lifestyle issues. By comparing our findings with that of Greater China or undertaking longitudinal evaluations, this study fostered government for school health policy formulation.
  • The database would be unprecedented and instrumental in decreasing health risking behaviour.

Expected Findings

  • There is significant difference in physical fitness between Hong Kong and the Mainland Chinese schoolchildren.
  • There is strong evidence of the impacts of the education system, living environment, diet and entertainment on physical fitness.
  • Schoolchildren with good physical fitness level were found meeting the dietary guidelines for total fat, saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol.
  • Integrated effect of a balanced diet was supported.
  • It was identified muscular strength differences between genders during growth, adding supporting evidence to the hormonal infiuence of muscle growth during puberty.
  • Children who obtained good results in cardiovascular functioning may not achieve good results in lung capacity.
  • Poor correlation between cardiovascular fitness and pulmonary fitness, showing existing single test for assessing cardiopulmonary fitness may not be sufficient.

Selected Publications Related to the Study

  • Chung, L.M.Y., Chow, L.P.Y., Tsang, E.C.K. & Chung, J.W.Y. (2013). Cardiorespiratory fitness: a single field parameter to assess cardiovascular fitness and respiratory fitness? (under journal review).
  • Chung, L.M.Y., & Chung, J.W.Y. (2013). Normative reference of standing long jump indicates gender difference in lower muscular strength of pubertal growth. (under journal review).
  • Chung, L.M.Y., Chung, J.W.Y., & Wong, T.K.S. (2010). Importance of a balanced diet on the physical fitness level of school children aged 6-12. Journal of Child Health Care, 14(3), 280-295.
Biography of Principal Investigator

Professor Joanne Chung is currently the Chair Professor of Health Studies and the Associate Vice-President (Programme Development) of The Hong Kong Institute of Education. Her creativity, leadership and perseverance in research activities in the emerging and potentially lucrative field of digital health and study of pain are especially noteworthy, having resulted winning of many international prizes in the past years and has published extensively. She is a pain specialist in both research and clinical practice. Prof. Chung has also devoted her effort in developing school health. Old habits die hard. Good healthy habits and lifestyles have to start young.

Funding Source

Recurrent Funding from UGC for Knowledge Transfer Activities,
Endowed Chair Scheme: Peter T C Lee Chair Professor of Health Studies