Reduced Homework, Decreased Gaming, and Increased Playtime: Chinese Regulations are Proving Effective in Combating Sedentary Lifestyles

Source: Courthouse News Service

Children worldwide are spending more time sitting and less time engaging in physical activities, posing a challenging trend to address. However, a recent study from the University of Bristol sheds light on China’s innovative approach to tackling this issue through regulations targeting homework and online gaming.

Story Overview:

  • In 2021, China implemented two key regulations aimed at reducing sedentary behaviour among children: restricting online gaming during the weekdays and limiting playtime on weekends, as well as setting limits on homework assignments and tutoring hours. Lead author Bai Li highlighted the novelty of this regulatory intervention, emphasising its multi-faceted approach.
  • Analysing surveillance data from 7,000 school children across 31 rural and urban areas in southern China, researchers found a significant reduction in sedentary behaviour by 13.8% following the implementation of these regulations. Notably, students were almost three times more likely to meet recommended homework and screen time guidelines, indicating a positive shift in behaviour.

The study underscores the effectiveness of regulatory measures in promoting healthier lifestyles among children, contrasting with traditional educational approaches. These findings highlight the importance of environmental factors in shaping behaviour and suggest potential implications for addressing sedentary behaviours globally.

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