ATheoreticalStudy on Health Quotient
Promotion-based Physical Education Reform at the
University Level
PE.department.Jiaxing institue .Jiaxing. China .314001
Abstract: This study maintains that university-level physical education does not currently include or implement
health education. As a consequence of this, college and university students have a very weak theoretical
understanding of health. This study maintains that university-level physical education should focus on the state of
students’ health, using the principles of the health quotient. Of particular importance are problems related to mental
health, social adaptive ability, and lifestyle. Physical education should incorporate instruction based on health
quotient-related theories and techniques; doing so will lay a strong foundation for students’ lifelong physical education.
In addition to opening up new paths and methods in research related to the all-around health education of college
students, this can also enrich and perfect the theoretical system of modern sports science, as well as provide a new line
of thinking and perspective to university-level physical education reform.
Key words:Health quotient; university-level physical education
In the National Mid-to-Long Term Educational
Reform and Development Program Outline (2010-2020),
it is stated that maintaining comprehensive
individual-based all-around education is the strategic
theme of educational reform and development. At its
core is finding a solution to the question of what kind of
people education should aim to cultivate and the
methods that should be used to do so. Key points
include gearing education towards the entire student
body and promoting the comprehensive development of
students. It also emphasizes the importance of striving
to increase students’ sense of responsibility towards
serving their country and society, their daring and
creativity, and their problem-solving abilities.
University-level physical education must firmly
establish the idea of “health first,” increase the quality of
physical education, strengthen mental health education,
and promote students’ mental and physical health 1.
The National General College and University Physical
Education Course Instruction Outline, issued by the
Department of Education in August of 2002, names
“strengthening one’s physical constitution, improving
health, an overall increase in students’ physical strength
and ability to adapt to their environment, and promoting
the comprehensive development of mind and body” as
the most important responsibilities for university-level
physical education in China. This publication gives
prominence to health objectives that include allowing
students to achieve comprehensive development in “the
five areas of exercise participation, exercise skill and
technique, physical health, mental health and social
adaptation” 2. If students are to achieve comprehensive
development, health quotient education is a key indicator
that can test schools’ administrative principles, direction,
and strength. College and university students are a
special group; they have specific life experiences and
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growth environments. Institutions of higher education
require measures and strategies that focus on individuals
at varying stages of development; they should regard
students’ individual health quotient growth from the
viewpoints of development and change. The purpose
of health education is to foster good hygiene and
exercise habits among students and to allow them to
achieve comprehensive development in regards to health,
so as to strengthen their social adaptive abilities 3
In 1949, the United Nations World Health
Organization (WHO) defined health as not only the lack
of disease or physical weakness, but rather the
satisfactory state of one’s body (in terms of physiology),
mental health, and social adaptive abilities
The key points of higher education in China, as
well as all-inclusive education, include the education and
cultivation of a proper lifestyle and the establishment of
scientific views towards health. The concept of the
“health quotient” offers us a new line of thought that can
be applied to these tasks. An urgent problem exists in
university-level physical education theory and practice.
While carrying out health-based instruction, schools
must demonstrate how to apply physical education to
increase students’ use of the health quotient, such as
through the effective use of classroom-based and
extracurricular physical education activities; additionally,
schools must be able to evaluate and predict the health
conditions of their students. In addition to opening up
new paths and methods in research related to the
all-around health education of college students, this can
also enrich and perfect the theoretical system of modern
sports science, as well as provide a new line of thinking
and perspective to university-level physical education
1. Analyzing and Understanding Health and
the Health Quotient, and Methods of Their
1.1 Health and the Health Quotient
4. Fifteen
percent of health and longevity is determined by heredity,
ten percent is related to social conditions, eight percent
is related to healthcare conditions, seven percent is
determined by environmental factors, and sixty percent
depends upon an individual’s behavior. The health
quotient (HQ) reflects an individual’s knowledge and
understanding of health and is an effective evaluation
index of one’s state of health. It uses a statistical index
to measure an individual’s knowledge understanding of
health as well as the ability to maintain one’s health5
In 1988 the WHO defined the promotion of health
as the promotion of the methods of maintaining and
improving individuals’ health. Their definition also
states that health promotion is a strategy of harmonizing
people with their environment, and should decide every
individual’s responsibility in regards to their health
The health quotient gives particular prominence to
personal healthcare. It emphasizes that through
personal healthcare an individual can achieve optimal
physiological, psychological and social health.
Additionally, it focuses on the individual’s healthy
lifestyle and habits, as well as the whole and systematic
study of methods of health care.
1.2 Promoting Health and the Health Quotient
They emphasize the importance of active participation in
the promotion of health on the individual, group, and
even the societal level. People must correct unhealthy
habits and behavior, optimize their lifestyles, and
promote the improvement of the environment.The
promotion of health can be applied to a wide range of
settings and can aid the analysis, prediction and
explanation of many behavioral habits and trends. Like
the concepts of the intelligence quotient and emotional
quotient, the health quotient is one characteristic of an
individual. It can be improved through education, by
applying willpower or emotional intelligence, and
through diligent physical effort. The health quotient is
an accumulation of health-related skills and knowledge.
Through education, environmental development, as well
as the additional accumulation of skill and knowledge, it
can continue to grow. On these grounds, the author
attempts to define the promotion of the health quotient
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as the individual’s proper use of health care-related
knowledge, the direction-based analysis and
improvement of one’s health score, as well as the
maintenance and promotion of healthy habits and
behavior. The promotion of the health quotient ensures
that people can successfully synthesize healthy
behaviors and activities with stable mental health. Its
purpose is to give people full control over their own
2. Viewing Existing Deficiencies in
University-level Physical Education from
the Perspective of University Students’
Personal Health
2.1 The Troubling Current State of University Students’
Personal Health
2.1.1 University Students’ Quality of Health Continues
to Slide
On September 2, 2011, the Department of
Education, the National Office of Physical Education
and the six national ministries and commissions jointly
published the 2010 Study and Research Results of the
Nationwide Physical Condition and Health of Students.
This publication points out that as the physical health of
elementary and middle school students improves, the
collective physical health of university students
continues a downward trend 7
Between November 30, 2010 and February 28,
2011, the University Student Press and the Chinese
University Student Network focused on ten aspects of
psychological problems among university students, such
. The amount of physical
exercise among university students is clearly below that
of elementary school students; university students spend
an excessive amount of time online, watching movies,
and playing video games.
2.1.2 Although college students pay attention to their
personal mental health, they lack timely and effective
solutions when facing psychological problems. This
eventually results in a poor capacity for handling
psychological problems and the lacking of abilities for
interpersonal communication and dealing with
as the causes of these problems, students’ current
conditions, and countermeasures against these problems.
In an online evaluation carried out to assess the state of
mental health among university students, the most
prominent problems were pressure in interpersonal
communication, the pressure of finding employment,
and poor self-management abilities i
2.2 Viewing the Current Deficiencies in University-level
Physical Education from the Perspective of University
Students’ Health
. In 2005, eleven
top scorers in the national college entrance examination
were rejected from the University of Hong Kong after
undergoing personal interviews, the reason being that the
university did not admit “bookworms”.
2.2.1 In physical education classes, university students
cannot achieve a theoretical understanding of health and
personal healthcare and cannot satisfy the objectives of
health education.
Physical education at the university and college
levels devotes a great amount of time to classroom
education. In contrast, the theoretical knowledge of
physical education is given comparatively little attention,
only composing between fifteen and twenty-five percent
of classroom content in a semester. Classes in physical
education theory derive their content from An Outline of
Physical Education Culture, edited by Yu Kehong [Ҿਟ
] and Jin Fuchun [䠁⾿᱕]. Its educational content is
primarily related to sports and physical education, such
as the role of physical education in personal
development, the Olympic Games, a comparison of
physical education culture in China and the West, and
the causes and treatment of sports-related injuries. It
lacks instruction dealing with mental and physical health,
as well as lifestyle-related content and theories.
Students are unable to obtain a good understanding and
comprehension of health theory or proper health care
habits through theoretical study. The majority of the
semester consists of practical classes that are based on
the study and instruction of skills and techniques;
students’ grades are still based on skill evaluation. In
these classes it is impossible to discuss and explain
theoretical knowledge, and health education cannot be
included. There are many ways to achieve an
understanding of health. Physical health may be
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demonstrated through a physical education class, but
mental health, social adaptability and moral health
should be taught through other kinds of athletic activities;
they cannot be taught dogmatically. Physical education
teachers in universities have their own understanding
and views towards health, but weekly physical education
classes do not allow students to achieve a satisfactory
collective understanding of physical education theory or
skills and techniques. The basic quality of grading is
steadily decreasing, and assessments and evaluations
also continue to decrease their requirements.
2.2.2 Course Selection Still Cannot Satisfy Students’
Interests or Needs
Apart from required courses, students prefer
teaching materials that are relaxing, lively, and exciting.
Students enjoy dance (including “dancesport”, hip-hop
dancing and aerobics), small-ball sports (tennis,
badminton, shuttlecock), and other entertaining activities;
they also desire to study traditional Chinese methods of
health care 8
University students’ physical education grades are
still based on skill evaluation and participation. These
grades do not reflect physical health, mental health, or
social adaptability and lack a comprehensive evaluation
of students’ knowledge of health, their behavior or their
personal health care skills. This form of assessment –
which only focuses on skill and technique and ignores
the formation of good habits and the understanding of
healthy exercise – still continues at present. As a result,
. Male university students pay attention to
major national and international sporting competitions,
especially American NBA league matches and CBA
games, as well as tennis competitions like the US Open
and Wimbledon. These students wish to learn the basic
knowledge used to enjoy, discuss and analyze these
exciting sports competitions; they are also very
interested in studying the methods used to referee these
2.2.3 University students’ physical education grades are
still based on skill evaluation and participation. This
grading system lacks a comprehensive evaluation of
students’ knowledge of health, their behavior or their
personal health care skills.
students believe that physical education class is merely
the study of athletic skill and only attempt to achieve
passing grades.
3. What Path of Development Should Health
Quotient Promotion-based Physical
Education Reform at the University Level
Tak e?
Basic Requirements of the Health Education of
University Student (Test), published by the former
national education commission, mentions that “every
institute of higher education must include health
education in their curriculum. Additionally, according
to their own needs and conditions, schools must offer
lecture courses and electives in health education.” The
publication offers a guarantee to research based on these
principles. University students are a special group; the
promotion of the health quotient involves students’ use
of proper healthy habits and strategies, observing and
evaluating their personal state of health through the use
of the health index, direct analysis and increase of their
health scores, and improvement of their level of health.
On these grounds, the strength of university-level
physical education reform should be measured by the
health quotients of university students. But if the
increase of university students’ health quotients is made
a part of university-level physical education and leads to
the incorporation of health education, in what ways will
it lead to it? (See chart 1)
3.1 Research on the Relational Degree between the
Health Quotient and the Objectives of University-level
Physical Education
This publication gives prominence to health
objectives that include allowing students to achieve
comprehensive development in “the five areas of
exercise participation, exercise skill and technique,
physical health, mental health and social adaptation.”
According to Health Quotient, edited by Professor Xie
Huazhen (䉒ॾⵏ), the health quotient consists of five
dimensions (personal health care, health knowledge,
lifestyle, state of mind, and life skills) and twenty factors
(see picture 1). Achieving unanimity in regards to
objectives is a prerequisite of increasing an individual’s
level of health. Following is an analysis of the
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relationship between the dimensions and factors of the
health quotient. Firstly, these dimensions and factors
both place importance on achieving an understanding of
health and the methods of maintaining a healthy mind
and body. The health quotient emphasizes the use of a
point-based score in regards to lifestyle
Lifestyle Sports participation
Self-care Sports skill
Heath knowledge Fitness
\Mental state Mental health
Living skill Social adaptation
Target areas of college sports training
Method of obtain health in mental
and physical
Measure of deal with disease and
Health knowledge
Exercise and fitness
Practical courses
Theory and practise
Mental and psychological states
Environment and study
Theory and practise
Practical courses
HQ Dimension
Chart1:Relational Degree between the Health Quotient and Target Areas of University-level Physical Education
and habits to judge an individual’s level of health.
University-level physical education must incorporate the
spread of information and behavioral instruction; it must
help individuals as well as groups achieve an
understanding of proper health and hygiene. Physical
education at universities must establish proper concepts
of health. Schools must willfully adopt a curriculum
that includes courses and activities that support healthy
behavior and a healthy lifestyle 4. Secondly, physical
education does not give much attention to the healthiness
of students’ lifestyles (smoking, alcohol, drugs, eating
and drinking, nutrition) and also neglects to address
students’ psychological health. Rather, students attend
weekly physical education classes that only require them
to understand certain athletic skills and techniques.
Additionally, health education is essentially a kind of
intervention. The time spent on this sort of intervention
needs to be increased in activities both inside and
outside class. The health quotient can be used to
evaluate students’ personal health. Finally, in regards
to using the aforementioned dimensions and factors to
evaluate students’ states of health, physical education
currently lacks any kind of specialized assessment or
evaluation of its target areas. University-level physical
education only bases its assessments on individual class
grades; books are used to evaluate students’ knowledge
of theory.
3.2 Research on Health Quotient-based Physical
Education Reform at the University Level
3.2.1 Establishing a Guiding Ideology of “Health First”
and Carrying Out All-Around Student Instruction in
Physical Education Classes
Firstly, if physical education courses at universities
are to foster students’ all-around development, their
priority must be the cultivation of students’ social
adaptability. Educators can plan and implement group
activities and use all sorts of different tools and settings
to carry out group-based and individual challenges and
tests. Examples include outdoor exercises, creative
small group activities in musical athletic elective classes,
andthe psychological “trust fall” game. Through these
kinds of activities and programs, individuals can gain an
understanding of how to work with a group, the constant
need for communication when cooperating with others;
they can also promote interpersonal communication
between students. Through cooperating, students will
learn to accommodate the needs of others as well as the
importance of group coordination; as a result they will
be aware of group and social dynamics. This will
strengthen students’ willpower and allow them to view
themselves and others from a proper perspective.
These activities will result in an increase in students’
social adaptability.
Secondly, in order to provide students with
comprehensive, university-level physical education
courses must also focus on cultivating healthy lifestyle
habits. Doing so will ensure the increase of students’
level of health. One way this can be carried out is
through the distribution of pamphlets explaining healthy
lifestyle habits. Also, splitting students into competing
groups in the classroom will help give them a clear
understanding of healthy lifestyle habits. Through the
addition short essays on healthy lifestyles to physical
education curriculums, students can learnabout personal
health care, understand how to live a healthy lifestyle,
and also fulfill part of their physical education grade –
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how can one argue against implementing this?
3.2.2 The Content of University-level Physical
Education Must Be Expanded
Classes on theory must include content on
health-quotient education, particularly in respect to
lifestyle, personal health care and healing. Practical
classes should incorporate group-building activities.
For instance, according to the respective needs of
physical education programs, schools should add
group-based practices and competitions that increase
group awareness and collective competition. Such
activities include group competitions in the form of
large-ball games like basketball, volleyball and football.
These competitions may be carried out between teams or
even amongst different classes. These do not need to
utilize a full court for these activities; many places may
be used for small-scale activities. Students may freely
organize teams for small-ball sports (table tennis,
badminton, tennis); Shooting games may also be carried
out. Activities with musical accompaniment (aerobics,
hip-hop dancing, rhythmic exercises) can even test
students’ ability to create routines.
3.2.3 More time must be devoted to theoretical study in
class. Students must improve their understanding of
health and health care and should learn how to determine
their own state of physical health.
Classes on theory must be increased. Content
taught in technique-based classes must be flexible and
direct enough to incorporate instruction and perspectives
related to the health quotient. Some students take a
greater interest in learning about rather prominent health
problems. Classes may provide a daily log for students;
through constant attention, teachers may provide
assistance to students or coordinate with other
professional instructors to directly correct and maintain
healthy behavior and habits.
3.2.4 Increasing the overall quality of university physical
education instructors; carrying out a comprehensive
evaluation of the objectives of physical education
courses– physical health, mental health and social
adaptability. Physical education instructors must not
only possess athletic knowledge and skill but should also
have an abundant knowledge of healthand health care.
In addition to evaluating students’ physical abilities, they
must be able to carry out the comprehensive analysis of
the physical education course objectives of physical
health, mental health and social adaptability.
3.2.5 University-level physical education must include
health quotient-based education in its scope of
evaluation. Self-evaluation should be combined with
the evaluation of students, not simply students’
evaluation of their instructors.
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