Fitness tests to gauge how city is shaping up

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 August, 2005, 12:00am

Inspired by the mainland's national fitness test, Hong Kong authorities will launch city-wide physical checks this year to guide policies on health and sport.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department hopes to begin testing in mid-September. The method of choosing who to test has not yet been decided.

'We will examine the fitness of the community through a sample of 6,000 to 8,000 people of different ages, ranging from primary students to elderly people,' said Lo Wing-lok, convenor of the advisory committee on fitness tests in the community.

'By creating such a database, we can check the physical strengths and weaknesses of Hong Kong people, which will be useful for the government ... sports policies.'

As on the mainland, the tests will be done every five years, using the same format as there.

Doctors and bodies including the Health Department and Education and Manpower Bureau will be consulted about the design of the test, Dr Lo said.

He also hopes the tests will inspire more people to keep fit.

'It may help boost Hong Kong people's awareness of physical fitness if they find their condition is ranked lower than that [of people elsewhere] in China,' Dr Lo said.

Participants' height, weight, balance, strength, the percentage of fat in the body, blood pressure and heart rate before and after exercising will be measured.

Dr Lo expects the first round of tests to be finished this year, with results available early next year.

The president of the Hong Kong Medical Association, Choi Kin, welcomed the introduction of the test.

'[Hong Kong] should have done similar tests a long time ago,' Dr Choi said. 'The figures [will] not only tell the health status of Hong Kong people, but serve as references for future medical planning issues.'