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Medics test students' strength for college life

03-01-2011 13:49 BJT

BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhuanet) -- A massive campaign to check the health of Beijing students preparing for this year's vital gaokao, or national college entrance examination, will start on Tuesday.

About 76,000 youngsters will be put through stringent physical checks over the next 20 days to ensure they are in the right condition for at least four years of university education.

The campaign is not only designed to gauge the overall health of students but also to find out if any are unsuitable for certain fields of study, said Sun Liguang, director of the Beijing Physical Examination Center, which is one of the 23 clinics where the teens will be tested.

"We have to make sure people who are color blind don't apply for majors like drawing or medical science, which requires the frequent use of a microscope," she said.

Issues relating to weight and sight are often the biggest concerns for students' health. In 2010, roughly 85 percent of 80,000 participants failed the visual examination, according to data from the center.

Result of this year's test will not come out until April 15, yet experts at the center estimate that obesity and short-sightedness will once again top the problem charts.

An Bo, a senior high school student with Lixin Middle School who is near-sighted, told METRO that his vision tarted to worsen during middle school due to excessive study pressure and his obsession with computer games. In the final year of high school, An spent at least 14 hours behind a desk, including eight hours at school and six hours at home.

"I feel my vision is getting worse, but I don't really have time to go to the hospital to test it and change glasses," he said. "It's the first thing on the to-do list when the exam is over in June."

"I wanted to be a pilot when I was a little boy, but with my eyesight it's a dream that will never come true," he added.

Sun recommended students reduce the studying burden by increasing levels of exercise and eating a healthy diet. "Teachers should be aware that some students' health index is very low, which is bad for their overall development," she said.

The physical checklist includes cardiovascular performance, blood tests and oral hygiene, although screening for hepatitis was scrapped last year.

Doctors taking part in the health examinations advised students to avoid strenuous exercise and alcohol up to a day before, and to get plenty of sleep. Students who take the test in the morning should not eat breakfast, while spectacles are preferred rather than contact lenses.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: China Daily

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