Exercise, anyone? No, not me

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2012, 12:00am


'Hundreds of sports shoes lined up along the corridors of our dorms made for a spectacular sight!' says Mr Chen, 36, a teacher at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, recalling his college days.

'Every day, as soon as the bell rang for dismissal, we rushed back to our dorms, changed into the shoes and headed for the football field.

'We loved to exercise in the open air.'

But such a sight is rare these days on university campuses in Guangzhou. Except for activities like attending classes or grocery shopping, most students prefer to stay in their dorms.

'I love football. I often stay up late to watch matches [on television],' says Wu Kaixiong, a student at South China Normal University. 'But I seldom go out to play football. A few of my classmates do it. We have gradually become lazy and less enthusiastic about outdoor sports activities.'

Zhang Yue, a third-year student at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, says: 'During the first two years in university, I had physical exercise once a week in our physical education class. But now, as we don't have PE classes, physical activity is no longer on my schedule.'

Some students attribute their lack of physical exercise to the heavy workload and participation in social activities.

'So many essays to write and so many exams to prepare for - I just can't set aside time for outdoor sports,' says Xiao Wu. 'Besides, I have to organise the activities of the public speaking association.'

Zhang Shan has another reason: 'Actually, I can't remember the last time I went out for sports. I am so addicted to social media that I can live without sports but not without my computer and mobile phone. This is true for many of my roommates.'