Background: Physical activity pattern is influenced by climate, geographic environment, as well as economy. China features a vast territory, with great differences in nature and
economic condition. Thus, it is important to understand the geographical environment distribution of the resident’s physical activity level to provide scientific base for policy-maker and physical
Methods: The research objects were the adults aged 20-59 years old in the fourth National Physical Fitness Surveillance in 2014, which covered 31 provinces of Chinese mainland.
Multi-stage stratified random sampling and face-to-face interview were used. The total sample size is 146703 adults, including 73104 males and 73599 females.
“Physical Activity Questionnaire for Chinese Residents” was developed, in which the core based on the “IPAQ”. And it confirmed by reliability and validity analysis.
One-way Analysis of Variance and K-Means cluster analysis were used to analysis Data. The physical activity level (PAL) was evaluated by METs. Three physical activity levels are divided, which are
sedentary, moderate PAL and active PAL.
Results: There are two kinds of geographical environment area in this study: one is natural geographical climate area that is divided whole Chinese regions by south and north
according to the traditional division standard of geographical and climatic environment. The north covers 16 provinces, including Beijing, Tianjin, etc; the south covers 15 provinces, including
Shanghai, Jiangsu, etc.; Another is economic geographical area, three economic zones are divided according to the division standard of regional economy of China, which are eastern, middle and western,
represent developed, developing and under developed economic zone respectively.
Results show: compared to the adults in the north part of China, adults in South have higher proportion of sedentary PAL in traffic (55.5% VS. 48.5%), lower percentage of active PAL in occupation (1
percentage lower), lower percentage of moderate PAL in housework (47.0% VS. 57.6%), and higher percentage of active PAL in leisure time（6.3% VS. 5.8%）.
In view of the overall physical activity level, adults in the eastern have higher percentage of sedentary PAL and moderate PAL than that in the middle and the western. The proportions of active PAL
population in the eastern, middle and western are 30.7%, 37.4% and 42.2% respectively. The proportions of active PAL population in the south and north are 37.5% and 35.2% respectively.
Conclusions: There are significant differences of PAL among Chinese adults in different geographic areas. Adults’ PAL in transportation and occupation decreased with the going up of
economic development in different economic zone. There is a trend of that the adults in adjacent provinces had similar PAL in geographic distribution.