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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-103

Association between demographic, academic, and behavioral characteristics with physical activity levels among international students in China during COVID-19 pandemic

1 Department of Rehabilitation, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University; Department of Rehabilitation, Jinzhou Medical University, Jinzhou, China
2 Department of Health Sciences, Uganda Christian University, Kampala, Uganda
3 Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department, Hubert Koutoukou MAGA National University Hospital Center, Abomey-Calavi University, Cotonou, Benin
4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation School, National Institute of Public Health, Bujumbura, Burundi

Correspondence Address:
Zhou Daan
Department of Rehabilitation,The Third Affiliated Hospital of Jinzhou Medical University, Liaoning PR
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_58_22

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Background: International students face multiple challenges due to cultural distance, cultural shock, social support, stress and anxiety, language barriers, and classroom transition. Moreover, the outbreak of COVID-19 complicated the living situation for international students. Physical activity (PA) can be a coping strategy in overcoming health challenges as it is known to have health benefits, improve socialization and integration skills. Aim: The study aimed to determine PA levels of international students in China during COVID-19 and analyze the associated characteristics. Setting and Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted among international students in China. Subjects and Methods: An online questionnaire that included demographic, academic, and behavioral characteristics together with International Physical Activity Questionnaire Short Form tool was used to collect the data. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics, Chi-square test, and Mann–Whitney U test were employed to analyze the data. Results: One thousand and hundred and twenty international students were recruited into the study. 71.3% of the participants were engaged in low, 15% in moderate and 13.8% in high PA. PA of international students was associated with gender, body mass index, marital status, continent of origin, student residence, study language, time spent in China and alcohol consumption P < 0.01; academic level P < 0.05. However, there was no significant association of PA with age and smoking status P < 0.05. Conclusion: This study indicates a lower level of PA among international students in China. International education management may consider the promotion of PA as a good intervention to the health of international students during COVID-19.

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