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Young kids in Shanghai study more, play less

By Cai Wenjun (Shanghai Daily)

10:30, May 21, 2012

Local primary school students spend the least amount of time on outdoor activity but the longest time on homework, compared with students in other major cities.

The findings, in a study released yesterday, paint an overall portrait of children in Shanghai and four other major cities spending less time outdoors, largely because of academic pressure and indoor pastimes like TV and computers.

One-third of the Chinese primary school students studied spend less than one hour on outdoor play every day. A fourth have one hour or less of outdoor play per week, the study said.

The study covered 5,441 primary school students in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi'an and Hefei.

The average time for outdoor activity for children in all five cities was 1.06 hours from Monday to Friday and 2.17 hours per day during weekends and holidays.

Shanghai students spent only 0.74 hours on outdoor activity on weekdays and 1.92 hours a day on weekends and holidays.

The trend was reversed for time spent on academics.

The average time spent on academics was 1.9 hours per day for weekdays in all five cities, and 2.4 hours per day on weekends.

In Shanghai, the average was 2.24 hours per day spent on academics on weekdays and 2.74 hours per day on weekends.

Based on survey's results, a program calling for parents and caregivers to "accompany children to play one more hour" has been launched by the China National Children's Center.

Local parents were considered by the study's authors to be the group giving the least support for their children to participate in outdoor activity.

Experts said it is essential for the health and intelligence of children to encourage them to go outside and take part in different kinds of activities.


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