The general aim of the National Fitness Programme, which is similar to that of China's modernization, may be formulated as follows: through several decades of hard work, to build a fairly complete national fitness system with Chinese characteristics for a general improvement of the people's physique, so as to reach or surpass, with respect to the main target to be fulfilled in developing mass sports and building the people's physique, the moderately developed countries by the middle of this century.
The National Fitness Programme is meant for the whole nation, with emphasis on children and youth. Since young people carry out their activities mainly at schools, it is necessary first of all to improve physical education at these institutions. To enhance the students' fitness level, it is necessary to implement the regulations on sports and health work at schools laid down by the state. All primary and secondary schools must set aside three periods a work for PE lessons, and extracurricular sports activities. At least one hour should be devoted to sports activities every day in over half of the schools in urban areas and in at least one-fourth of the schools in the countryside. Schools of all types and grades must actively promote physical training according to standards set by the state. Such standardized physical training should be popularized in more than 90 per cent of all the schools in urban areas and 50 per cent of those in the countryside. A system should be established wherein a student applicant must pass a PE test before entering a school of a higher grade.
Government offices and other institutions must persist in organizing setting-up exercises during work breaks. Wherever possible, workers at factories and other enterprises should do exercise before starting a shift. In addition, they should go in for diverse fitness-keeping and other sports sporting activities that suit their needs and vocational characteristics. All these activities will help raise efficiency of work, prevent occupational diseases and increase the rate of attendance.
The fitness level of China's one billion peasants has a decisive bearing on the overall health condition of the Chinese nation. Sports for the peasants should dovetail with the needs for the building of better-off villages and townships and be combined with traditional cultural and recreational activities. Multifarious forms of fitness training should be adopted by taking into account local, seasonal and individual conditions. By the end of the last century one third of all counties in the country, or 700, had been named the advanced counties for their outstanding achievements in promoting sports in rural areas.
Specific fitness goals are set for all other sections of society, including urban dwellers, intellectuals, armymen, women, handicapped people and minority ethnic groups. Among other things, 100 cities had been cited as pacesetters in promoting sports by the end of the last century. Special attention are accorded to intellectuals with outstanding academic accomplishments, who are given physical checkups and fitness test at regular intervals.