Cultural considerations in health promotion – meaning of health and intrinsic factors affecting physical activity participation in Chinese children

Fiona Chun Man Ling, Alison M. McManus, Rich Masters, Remco Polman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

According to the health promotion model, a vital step to effective health behaviour promotion is understanding the meaning of health to the target audience. However, physical activity (PA) interventions for children is seldom informed by the children themselves which might have contributed to the futility of many interventions. With PA inactivity being prevalent in Chinese children, the main aim of the study is to qualitatively explore the meaning of health in Chinese children and the intrinsic factors contributing to PA participation and non-participation from a child’s perspective. Themes on the meaning of health emerged from the 22 focus group discussions with children aged 6-12 include physical and psychological representations of health. For the former, the body’s ability to rid of internal toxics through sweating emerged to be a prominent theme. Physical capability in performing everyday tasks, feeling energetic and physique also appear to represent health. Psychologically, Chinese children seem to greatly value alertness and feeling of relaxed and positive mood especially after PA participation. Related to the psychological themes is that positive body sensations through PA seem to be an important motivator for continued participation. Social comparison also appears to be a motivation to many as it presented challenge to the children from which confidence is fostered. Significant factors that seem to disengage Chinese children from PA are negative previous PA experiences, concerns about one’s physical ability as well as possible injuries and hygiene issues. Together with comparison with existing western data, implications of our findings will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2014
Event5th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health - Windsor Barra Hotel e Congressos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Duration: 8 Apr 201411 Apr 2014

Conference

Conference5th International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health
Abbreviated titleICPAPH 2014
CountryBrazil
CityRio de Janeiro
Period8/04/1411/04/14

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