Getting fit's fun when it's a team effort

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 October, 2009, 12:00am

Hong Kong students are not doing enough exercise, a survey has concluded.

Experts have reacted by saying teenagers should get their bodies moving by joining in team events or group exercises.

The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BGCA) surveyed teenagers' exercise habits in September.

It found that almost 40 per cent did not do any exercise outside of physical education lessons.

Of those students, more than half admitted they were lazy, while 24 per cent said they did not like exercising alone.

Hong Kong Baptist University associate professor Louie Hung-tak said the survey showed students did not do enough exercise, which was bad for their health and growth.

'We commonly believed the reason was due to inadequate and inconvenient venues,' he said. 'But the survey shows the problem is not with the hardware but the software.'

Louie recommended more team events be organised for teenagers as they found playing team sports or exercising with friends was more 'fun and entertaining'.

Because team sports such as football and basketball require specific skills, BCGA believes it might be easier for teens to start with events like orienteering and hiking.

It organises an annual orienteering event - Sino Team Challenge 36 - to give teens the chance to get involved in a team activity.

The competition sees five-member teams including boys and girls completing a series of physical and mental activities.

It is divided into three levels of difficulty. Teenagers are advised to take part in the 'Novice Team' to get used to the event. It is a relatively short and easy route with fewer technical tasks.

The novice groups have to go through a series of activities within eight hours.

Edith Chow Pui-yee, who is taking part for the second time, said there was an interesting mix of challenges.

'It includes hiking, orientation, cycling, rafting, abseiling and other team games. It is both physically and mentally challenging,' she said.

'The more challenging it is, the better you feel after crossing the finish line. You feel like all the hard work has paid off.'

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