BEIJING (January 22, 2013)--Despite its formidable performance in recent Olympic Games, China is facing a crisis of declining fitness among its youngsters.
The government is urging schools to beef up their physical education after a recent outcry touched off when two college students collapsed and died during mandatory annual running exams.
Obesity rates among Chinese students are climbing.
Experts attribute deteriorating fitness scores to the cruelly competitive environment for college admissions, as well as a proliferation of indoor entertainment such as video games and online activities.
Sun Yunxiao, deputy director of China Youth and Children Research Center in Beijing, said says the fitness crisis is worrying the nation.
"Our economic power has grown while our people's physiques have not only failed to improve, but have deteriorated. That's unacceptable,” he said.