Fri, Mar 17, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Taichung City leads in number of health buffs


Taichung City topped 23 cities and counties around the nation as the place whose residents take the most regular exercise and play the most sports, followed by Kinmen County and Taipei City, the National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports said on Wednesday.

The council unveiled a ranking of 23 cities and counties for last year under its program to double the number of people who participate in sports in every city and county. The results showed that the program had borne fruit, with the number of those who exercised regularly increasing by 2.4 percent from the previous year.

The survey based its ranking on four categories: the ratio of the population who exercise regularly, are members of sports clubs, watch sports regularly, and the average body-mass index (BMI) ratio. A total of 15,060 effective samples were collected.

BMI is measured by dividing one's weight by the square of one's height in meters. A person whose BMI ratio is lower than 18.5 is considered underweight, while one who has a BMI ratio of more than 24 is considered overweight.

The top three in the category of "the ratio of the population that exercise regularly" were Hualien, Nantou and Penghu counties, while Miaoli County, Taichung City and Hualien County topped the category of "the ratio of the population who are members of sports clubs."

In the category of "regular sports watchers," the top three were Taipei City, Tainan City and Hualien County. As to the "BMI ratio" category, the top three were Taipei City, Tainan City and Changhua County.

Council official Wu Lung-shan (吳龍山) said that the promotion of regular exercise was the council's primary goal, especially as the survey showed that people aged 35 to 45 -- the backbone of Taiwan's productivity -- exercised the least.

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