Less exercise and more TV: Leisure-time physical activity trends of Shanghai elders, 19982008

Qiushi Feng*, Jama L. Purser, Zhihong Zhen, Pamela W. Duncan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background Surveillance of physical activity trends in older adults is limited in developing nations. This study examined 10-year leisure-time physical activity trends of elderly residents of Shanghai, the largest Chinese city with the nations highest proportion of senior citizens. Methods The study used panel data from the Shanghai Longitudinal Survey of Elderly Life and Opinion (1998, 2003, 2005 and 2008). Leisure-time physical activity questions included (i) 16 major leisure-time habitual activities and (ii) regular exercise in the previous 6 months. Results In comparison to 1998, for Shanghai elders, the trend for engaging in leisure-time habits not related to physical activity increased over time, becoming statistically significant in 2005 and 2008 (e.g. OR for watching TV in 2003, 2005 and 2008 is 1.04 [0.91, 1.19], 1.17 [1.00, 1.38] and 1.78 [1.51, 2.09], respectively). Simultaneously, the trend for engaging in regular exercise declined significantly in each observation year in comparison to 1998 (OR in 2003, 2005 and 2008 is 0.70 [0.61, 0.80], 0.36 [0.30, 0.42] and 0.28 [0.24, 0.33], respectively).DiscussionAn increasingly sedentary lifestyle has evolved over the past decade in Shanghai. This highlights a need for public health agencies to develop effective active lifestyle interventions and physical activity promotion programs for local elders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • exercise
  • leisure-time habit
  • older adults
  • physical activity
  • Shanghai


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