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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4278682, 7 pages
Research Article

Association between Family Structure and Physical Activity of Chinese Adolescents

1Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
2Beifang University of Nationalities, YinChuan 750021, China

Received 16 October 2015; Revised 10 February 2016; Accepted 16 March 2016

Academic Editor: Germán Vicente-Rodriguez

Copyright © 2016 Lijuan Wang and Jing Qi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. This study examines the association between family structure and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) of adolescents in China. Methods. The participants included 612 adolescents (317 boys and 295 girls) from Shanghai with ages ranging from 10 to 16 years. Accelerometers were used to measure the duration of MVPA of adolescents, and questionnaires on family structure were completed by the parents of these adolescents. Results. Findings suggested that family structure significantly increased the likelihood of adolescents engaging in physical activity (PA) and explained 6% of MPVA variance. Adolescents living in single-parent households and step families were more physically active than those living in two-parent homes and with biological parents, respectively. However, adolescents residing with grandparents were less active than those living with neither grandparent. No significant difference was found in MVPA time between adolescents living with one sibling and those without siblings. Conclusion. Family environment may be considered in the development of PA interventions and policies, and adolescents living with their grandparents may be targeted in PA promotion.