Nationwide physical fitness program

The Physical Health Law of the People's Republic of China was adopted in 1995. In the same year, the State Council promulgated the Outline of Nationwide Physical Fitness Program, followed by a series of rules and regulations. A survey released by the State Physical Culture Administration indicates that at present 33.9 percent of the population between 7 and 70 exercise regularly and 60.7 percent of the urban population go to sports clubs to engage in fitness activities. It is expected that by the end of 2005, 37 percent of China's total population will participate in regular physical exercises, and that over 95 percent of students will meet the National Physical Exercise Standard. Aiming to improve the health and the overall physical condition of the general population, the Nationwide Physical Fitness Program, with an emphasis on young people and children, encourages everyone to engage in at least one sporting activity every day, learn at least two ways of keeping fit and have a health examination every year.

In this 15-year-long program, the government aims to build a sport and health-building service system for the general public. There are about 620,000 gymnasiums and stadiums across China, most of them open to and widely used by the general public. Outdoor fitness centers have been installed in urban communities in public parks, squares, schoolyards, and other convenient locations. All communities and neighborhoods in Beijing are equipped with fitness facilities that meet the national standard. Building on what it already had, Tianjin has instituted large-scale expansion of its outdoor and indoor fitness facilities and stadiums. 2004 saw the completion of China's first large fitness arena with a floor area in excess of 10,000 sq m. 

Starting in 2001, the State Physical Culture Administration has set aside the proceeds of the sports lottery as pilot funds, in order to build "China Sports Lottery Nationwide Physical Fitness Centers" as pilot projects in 31 large and medium-sized cities throughout the country, including Dalian, Beijing and Changchun. Some of these centers have already been built. Meanwhile, some 196 million yuan of sports lottery proceeds were used to construct public sporting facilities in China's less-developed western areas and in the Three Gorges region of the Yangtze River, benefiting 101 counties and towns.
With the flourishing of nationwide fitness activities, people's outlook on life has also undergone great change. In many large and medium-sized cities, spending money in the pursuit of good health has become trendy. New types of sport, including rock climbing, horsemanship, bungee jumping, bowling, skateboarding, women's boxing, shuffleboard, taekwondo and golf are particularly popular among young people. At the end of 2003, work was started on China's first snow golf course in A'er Mountain, Inner Mongolia. This project, representing an investment of about 1 billion yuan, will be the sixth snow golf course in the world.

The Nationwide Physical Fitness Program has set targets that, by 2010, about 40 percent of China's population will participate in regular physical exercise, there will be a clear improvement in the national physique and a major increase in the number of fitness sites so as to satisfy people's needs for keeping fit.

Source: China.org.cn