By Michael Evans.
A Shanghai university student died Monday after collapsing during a class basketball game, the Shanghai Daily reported yesterday.
The 20 year-old Shanda University student, surnamed Tang, was described by classmates as in excellent physical condition prior to his sudden death.
The news comes only two weeks after another Shanghai university student died during a 1000 meter running test. That incident, along with the deaths of two runners in last month’s Guangzhou marathon, rekindled a long-standing debate over the physical fitness of China’s younger generation.
Past studies seem to give weight to complaints that student health is declining as time spent exercising is sacrificed for more study hours.
Health statistics have shown the youngsters’ health is unsatisfactory. A 2010 health report indicated college students aged from 19 to 22 were found to be slower and weaker, and the situation was worse in cities.
In comparison with data collected in 2005, scores in men’s 1,000 meters fell by 3.37 and 3.09 seconds for urban and rural students, while breathing capacity of college students as a general dropped by nearly 10 percent from the 1985 level.
China’s government this year has proposed new laws mandating more exercise for middle school and high school students, but many doubt whether such moves will have any real effect.