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Health guides being prepared for Beijing schools

By Wang Qingyun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-05-03 21:36

Primary and high schools in Beijing are to encourage healthier living habits in an effort to combat high rates of obesity, and eyesight problems among students.

A survey conducted by the city’s health authorities between 2011 and 2012, showed that more than 62 percent of pupils had lower than normal visual acuity, and more than 20 percent were obese.

As a result, the city’s health bureau has issued a health guide for primary and high schools, suggesting that every day pupils spend 3.5 hours on outdoor leisure and sports, including one hour of aerobics, weather permitting.

The guide also suggests that primary school pupils sleep for at least 10 hours a day, and high school pupils at least eight hours.

“These are basic requirement to maintain their health,” said Duan Jiali, an official from the city’s center for disease control and prevention, who took part in designing the guide.

"However, many of the pupils do not follow what we are suggesting.

"We carried out another survey from 2010 to 2012 and found that doing sports more than 2.5 hours a day slowed down the development of nearsightedness in pupils,” she said.

"Another year-long survey of grade three students in five schools found that an average of 95 percent were taking extra training classes but less than 50 percent said their parents cared about their PE performance,” she said.

The city’s health bureau has admitted that pupils in Beijing faced higher risks of becoming obese or being nearsighted.

It said it is going to distribute copies of the guide to primary and high schools in the capital, but it also needs effort from schools and parents to help them form good habits to maintain and improve the health of pupils.

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