Development of an ESL curriculum to educate Chinese immigrants about physical activity.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of immigrant and minority health / Center for Minority Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 4, p.379-87 (2008)


2008, Adult, Aged, Asian Americans, Center-Authored Paper, China, Collaborative Data Services Core Facility, Emigrants and Immigrants, Exercise, Female, Health Education, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Public Health Sciences Division, Shared Resources, Social Support


Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many chronic conditions. Multiple studies have shown that Asians in North America engage in less physical activity than the general population. One area for strategic development in the area of health education is the design and evaluation of English as a second language (ESL) curricula. The PRECEDE model and findings from focus groups were used to develop a physical activity ESL curriculum for Chinese immigrants. In general, focus group participants recognized that physical activity contributes to physical and mental wellbeing. However, the benefits of physical activity were most commonly described in terms of improved blood circulation, immune responses, digestion, and reflexes. The importance of peer pressure and the encouragement of friends in adhering to regular physical activity regimens were mentioned frequently. Reported barriers to regular physical activity included lack of time, weather conditions, and financial costs. The ESL curriculum aims to both promote physical activity and improve knowledge, and includes seven different ESL exercises. Our curriculum development methods could be replicated for other health education topics and in other limited English-speaking populations.