• Results from Fun to Move@JC “Effects of Pandemic on School Children Report” found the pandemic has negatively impacted kids
• 63% of parents say children have put on weight while 28% say children have eaten more, a statistically significant correlation
• 57% of parents say children’s physical activity levels have decreased, while 28% indicate children’s mental and emotional well-being worsened
(Hong Kong, 11 May 2021) According to the World Health Organization (WHO), children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 should do at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity every day. However, a recent study conducted by the Fun to Move@JC project, which is funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club and co-created by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), found primary school students have reduced levels of physical activity and gained weight amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey “Effects of Pandemic on School Children Report” was revealed today (11 May). Attending guests at the press conference included the Club’s Executive Director, Charities and Community, Leong Cheung, and Professor Amy Ha, project leader of Fun to Move@JC and Associate Dean (Research) of CUHK’s Faculty of Education, as well as Professor of the Department of Sports Science and Physical Education.
The Fun to Move@JC project is supported by approved funding of over HK$97 million from the Club’s Charities Trust in 2017. This support is made possible through the Club’s integrated business model which enables it to maintain its tax and charity support for Hong Kong. The Project also aligns with the Club’s long-standing commitment to promoting healthy and active lifestyles for improved community health which in turn contribute to the betterment of our society.
“The Club is committed to promoting active sports participation. Through cross sectoral collaboration and use of innovative ideas, it is supporting a range of sports initiatives for different age groups to enhance their physical and mental wellbeing,” said Mr Cheung. “With the aid of school and family collaboration and use of technology and big data, the Fun to Move@JC project aims to develop a sustainable model that enhances primary students’ physical activity level, improving their motivation and efficacy. It also helps enhance their physical and mental wellbeing development which in turn helps build their confidence, team spirits and lifelong positive values.” “Results of the survey we administered to parents in February suggest that the pandemic had a negative impact on the physical activity of children.” Professor Amy Ha explained. “There was a statistically significant correlation between physical activity and children’s physical health, as well as their mental and emotional health. The Project will continue to provide online activity class for free and encourage families to stay active by taking part in it. These classes have been very well received by children and parents.”
According to the survey findings, which interviewed a total of 800 parents of primary school students, nearly two-thirds (63%) of parents found their children had gained weight. Among them, 11% said their children had put on 3kg or more, while 28% said their children had consumed larger portions of food, showing a statistically significant correlation between meal portion size and children’s body weight.
About 61% of parents said that their children’s screen time had increased. Among them, 43% said the increase was 60 minutes or more per day. About 57% of parents found their children’s physical activity level had decreased. Among them, 24% said the decrease was 60 minutes or more per day. While 10% of parents thought their children’s physical health had deteriorated, 28% of parents said their children’s mental/emotional well-being had worsened.
The survey was conducted online in February 2021 via the Fun to Move@JC mobile application. It asked parents to evaluate the impact of the pandemic on their children compared to the latter’s physical and mental wellbeing in October 2020.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fun to Move@JC project had initiated a series of online activity classes for both children and families, including over 500 free online activity classes in the current academic year (September 2020 – May 2021), resulting in over 10,000 in total participation. It also provided to project participants pre-recorded online resources (YouTube videos) for home exercises and family activities, as well as training workshops for teachers on how to structure and deliver online PE instruction.
Based on data collected from the project’s sport bands, which were distributed to student participants, participants can accrue around 1,000 steps during one 30-minute online class. The data also showed that when students were learning from home between November 2020 and March 2021, nearly half of the participants achieved an average of 8,000 steps per day - a recommended level by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, High-resolution images and the full version of the report can be found here.
Created and funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, “Fun to Move@JC” is a 5-year pilot project co-created by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and co-organised by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute. The Project was launched in September 2017. With the aid of school and family collaboration and state-of-the-art technology, the Project aims to develop a sustainable model that enhances primary students’ physical activity level, improving their efficacy and motivation in sports through creating systemic changes in their lifelong physical activity attitudes and habits. The Project serves 35 participating primary schools, reaching over 30,000 primary school students and their parents. In the long run, we hope the valuable experiences we can accumulate from this pilot could be further developed to facilitate the development of positive behavioural and psychosocial well-being of students in Hong Kong.
|Date:||11 May, 2021|
The World Health Organisation suggests that children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 years should do at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily. However, studies by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) show that less than 15% of children in Hong Kong meet this recommendation. In view of this discrepancy, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has approved funding of over HK$97 million and joined hands with CUHK to create a five-year pilot project, Fun to Move@JC. With the aid of school and family collaborations as well as technology, the project is aimed at strengthening primary students’ motivation to participate in sport and instilling a habit of maintaining physical activity among young children, allowing them healthy all-round development. The pilot project serves 35 participating primary schools and is expected to reach over 30,000 primary school students and their parents.
Fun to Move@JC was officially launched today (8 November). The Club’s Executive Director, Charities and Community, Mr Leong Cheung; Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Ms Michelle Li and CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky Tuan performed the official launch ceremony and announced details of the project.
Mr Cheung noted that Sports was one of four strategic focus areas for the Club’s Charities Trust contributions. Through collaboration with different parties, the Club aimed to make sports fun and thereby encourage more people to take part in sports and make it a habit. “We would like to inspire students to play more sports, so as to enhance their resilience as well as help build their team spirit and sportsmanship. In addition, through analysing the big data collected by the project, we will be able to further improve the students’ physical, mental and social health in the longer term,” he said. “We have launched various sporting initiatives in kindergartens, primary, secondary and special schools, including the Jockey Club Keep-Fit Formula for Children programme for developing children's strength and fitness and the Active School programme under which athletes are invited to promote fun sports activities at primary schools.”
Ms Michelle Li said, The HKSAR Government has been promoting sports development in Hong Kong proactively with “Sport for All” as a core aim to encourage every citizen to play sports. She added that sports help train people’s physical and mental fitness and, unleash their potential as well as enhance social cohesion, and Fun to Move@JC officially launched today is particularly meaningful as it integrates physical activities into school life to boost students’ motivation in doing sports and raise its effectiveness.
Professor Tuan said, “Engaging in sports activities not only benefits our health, but is also a good way to cultivate one’s team spirit, perseverance and resilience that will help us maintain a positive outlook on life. As educators, we should let the younger generation learn to cope with failures and challenges, thereby explore their potentials and transcend limitations – these are the lessons children can learn from sports. We look forward to seeing the fruitful results of this project that aims to promote all-round development of our children, who are the hope of our future.”
His views were echoed by Professor Amy Ha, project leader of Fun to Move@JC and Associate Dean (Research) in CUHK’s Faculty of Education, as well as Professor in the Department of Sports Science and Physical Education. “Generally speaking, students in Hong Kong engage in insufficient physical activity. Through family-school partnership, we aim to lead a change by instilling an active, healthy lifestyle into the next generation,” she explained. “The school-based project also extends to students’ families by inviting parents to participate. Using state-of-the-art technology, both the quantity and quality of physical activity of participating students will be measured. Systematic data collection, adhering to high scientific rigour, will be conducted using wrist-worn sports bands, an automated fundamental movement skills rater, expert observations and self-reported questionnaires. A big data platform is being set up as part of the project, and we hope the data collected will be used to inform both academia and policy-makers in the future.”
Fun to Move@JC commenced as a pilot project in September 2017. Workshops, seminars and experience sharing sessions were organised for the Physical Education (PE) teachers of participating schools, allowing them to design suitable curriculums and create classes that are active and fun for students, thereby establishing an energetic school culture. Apart from their routine PE classes, participating schools will also now introduce fun and engaging physical activities at morning assemblies, recesses and the time between classes to encourage students to be more active. In addition, parents will be invited to talks about sport and physical activities as well as parenting practices. Family activities such as interest classes, sports classes and different award programmes will be arranged to encourage parents and children to adopt an active and healthy lifestyle together.
To encourage students to stay active outside school, a wrist-worn sports band will gradually be provided to each participating student and one of their parents to measure their physical activity level objectively at all times. The students will also undergo fitness tests to assess their fundamental movement skills through an automated assessment instrument specially designed for the programme, which supports continual improvement in students’ fundamental movement skills and quality of movement, as well as their physical and mental health. Parents can monitor their children’s physical performance and evaluate the effectiveness of the programme using a mobile app. In all, the project team hopes to analyse the data gathered from the sports bands in order to develop an effective, holistic and sustainable “Sport and Physical Activity Development Model” tailored for local primary schools, and eventually motivate more schools to establish a sport and physical activity friendly ecosystem.
Three elite athletes also attended the launch ceremony today – Nicholas Choi from the Hong Kong Fencing Team, Lee Ka-man from the Hong Kong Rowing Team and triathlete Law Leong-tim. The three guests explained how they first took up sport at a young age and their progress to becoming a professional athlete with the support of their parents or schools. They also emphasised how sport had given them positive energy and helped them develop an optimistic character.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Founded in 1884, The Hong Kong Jockey Club is a world-class racing club that acts continuously for the betterment of our society. The Club has a unique integrated business model, comprising racing and racecourse entertainment, a membership club, responsible sports wagering and lottery, and charities and community contribution. Through this model, the Club generates economic and social value for the community and supports the Government in combatting illegal gambling. In 2017/18, the Club made a record return to the Government of HK$22.6 billion in duty and profits tax and contributed HK$1.2 billion to the Lotteries Fund. Approved charity donations were HK$4.2 billion. The Club is Hong Kong's largest single taxpayer and one of the city’s major employers. Its Charities Trust is also one of the world's top ten charity donors. The Club is always "riding high together for a better future" with the people of Hong Kong. Please visit www.hkjc.com.
|Date:||18 November, 2018|