Res­i­dents of Shang­hai top fit­ness rank­ings

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai


Shang­hai may be renowned for be­ing a cos­mopoli­tan fi­nan­cial hub and ef­fer­ves­cent party haven, but its res­i­dents ev­i­dently aren’t spend­ing all their time in of­fices or clubs.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2014 Na­tional Fit­ness Sur­vey that was re­leased on Nov 25, Shang­hai’s res­i­dents have been ranked as the fittest in China. The sur­vey, which was jointly con­ducted by the Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Sport of China and the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, com­piled in­for­ma­tion from nearly 532,000 res­i­dents — aged be­tween three and 69 — from 31 prov­inces, au­ton­o­mous re­gions and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties.

Re­searchers eval­u­ated sur­vey par­tic­i­pants based on fac­tors such as body shape, which in­cluded mea­sure­ments of their height, weight, chest, waist and hips, as well as phys­i­cal tests, which re­quired them to per­form ac­tiv­i­ties to de­ter­mine grip strength, arm power and stamina. Zhe­jiang prov­ince came in sec­ond while Hubei took third place in the rank­ings. Bei­jingers were ranked sixth.

Res­i­dents of Shang­hai be­lieve that they were able to top the rank­ings largely due to a grow­ing be­lief in stay­ing healthy via the consumption of food with milder fla­vors and tak­ing part in sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

“In this city where res­i­dents have a hec­tic life­style and are sub­jected to heavy work stress, many peo­ple, es­pe­cially the young, are making it a point to squeeze in some time for sports. More and more peo­ple are adopt­ing this sort of healthy life­style in re­cent years,” said Wang Jiani, 26, an e-commerce pro­fes­sional who jogs thrice a week.

Wang would oc­ca­sion­ally make a 50-km round trip to Longteng Av­enue, a wa­ter­front route along­side the Huangpu River, to work­out with other mem­bers of an ama­teur run­ning club that reg­u­larly cov­ers dif­fer­ent routes in Shang­hai.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port pub­lished by the Shang­hai Mu­nic­i­pal Sports Bureau in Au­gust, more than 40 per­cent of the city’s res­i­dents had taken part in sports ac­tiv­i­ties reg­u­larly over the past year, and run­ning was cited as one of the most pop­u­lar, along­side com­pet­i­tive walk­ing, bad­minton, bas­ket­ball and square danc­ing.

“The in­tense com­pe­ti­tion to se­cure a run­ner’s spot in the Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Marathon also serves as ev­i­dence of how pop­u­lar run­ning has be­come in the city. Such events fur­ther boost en­thu­si­asm for sports,” Wang said.

This year’s Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Marathon, which was held on Nov 8, was over­sub­scribed by more than three times — over 120,000 peo­ple had signed up for the event which had 35,000 avail­able slots — and those who reg­is­tered only stood a 27 per­cent chance of suc­cess. On the whole, the num­ber of

Wang Jiani, marathon events in China over the past three years have in­creased from 22 to nearly 100, at­tract­ing over 1 mil­lion peo­ple.

Shang­hai res­i­dents also point to the abun­dance of sport­ing re­sources avail­able in the city as one of the main rea­sons why they fin­ished first in the rank­ings. In 2014, the Shang­hai mu­nic­i­pal and dis­trict gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties had ploughed more than 323 mil­lion yuan ($50.51 mil­lion) into pub­lic fit­ness pro­grams, a rise of 33 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

Fur­ther­more, there are cur­rently 1,277 pri­mary and high schools, ac­count­ing for 85 per­cent of the to­tal in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity, that have opened their sports fa­cil­i­ties to the pub­lic. Most of th­ese fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able for an hour in the morn­ing and an­other hour in the evening, while peo­ple can ac­cess them through­out the day dur­ing week­ends. The gov­ern­ment is also plan­ning to cre­ate more small and medium-size sports venues for the pub­lic to en­sure that res­i­dents have ac­cess to a sport­ing venue that is lo­cated within a 15-minute walk from their homes.

In this city where res­i­dents have a hec­tic life­style and are sub­jected to heavy work stress, many peo­ple, es­pe­cially the young, are making it a point to squeeze in some time for sports.”


26, an e-commerce

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