The introduction of exercise physiology in China: In search of the first publication

Frank H K Fu*, Tom K K Tong, Yunhong Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The development of physical education and sports in China may have started in the 19th century and proliferated in the latter part of the 20 century. Because of the importance of physical culture (or physical education) in the People's Republic of China, institutes of physical culture were founded in all provinces, producing students and researchers in this area. In 1978, the Shanghai Communicate once again permitted Chinese scholars to interact with the rest of the world. There has been tremendous progress during the past 25 years in the field of physical education and sports, in both competition sports and in the academic professions. The current study focused on the development of exercise physiology in China, especially before 1940. We were interested in identifying the first publication and the first research topic in exercise physiology, as well as in determining which article on exercise physiology was first published in a Chinese professional journal. In comparison with China, research and related works in this field were published much earlier in Western countries (John & Richard 1997; Wilmore & Costill 1994; Brooks 1981). In addition to finding the roots of exercise physiology in China, this study aims to improve understanding of the public's interest and needs in this area, and thus to appreciate the challenges faced by pioneers in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-65
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Exercise Science and Fitness
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

User-Defined Keywords

  • Historic milestone
  • Public health
  • Sports sciences


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