Physical activity behaviour in the tropics

Polman, Remco, Ling, Fiona and Borkoles, Erika (2014) Physical activity behaviour in the tropics. In: Science of Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity in the Tropics. Sports and Athletics Preparation, Performance, and Psychology . Nova Science Publishers, pp. 123-136. ISBN 9781631177378

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First we reviewed studies examining the role of climate on physical activity (PA) behavior. This highlights the limited knowledge and guidelines currently exist on the moderating influence of a tropical or hot climate on the PA behaviors of individuals.

Secondly, we examined the role climate on PA in children and clinically obese individuals. Contrary to previous findings from Caucasian young children, our data on habitual PA levels in Hong Kong primary school-aged children seem to suggest no seasonal variations. From the Chinese medicinal perspective, 'sweating' was considered as a sign of good health as expressed by the Hong Kong young children we recently interviewed. Therefore, Hong Kong children and parents may regard PA in the heat as beneficial to health. Alternatively, the increasing physiological evidence indicates that young children's thermoregulatory ability during exercise in the heat is not necessarily inferior to that of adults, thus biologically, children's habitual PA may not be prone to climatic changes in the tropics as commonly believed. Given the possible subjective climatic constraints, Hong Kong young children appear to favor indoor sporting options like swimming and activities that are likely to generate 'breeziness'.

All of the above arguments appear to lend support to human's adaptiveness to their environmental demands. Finally we discuss the difficulties and barriers to exercise of morbidly obese women in thermally comfortable conditions. We will extrapolate findings to tropical conditions, examining the likelihood of exercising with severe obesity in the tropics. We conclude that humans adapt to their environmental demands.

However, there is a need to examine the influence of humid tropical conditions on physical activity and exercise behavior and develop evidence based guidelines for these environmental conditions.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
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Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2019 16:51
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 16:18

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