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University students must take at least 10,000 steps a day in fitness push

In an effort to encourage its students to keep fit and active, Guangdong Foreign Studies University has introduced a new rule whereby students must log at least 10,000 steps a day, five days a week, using the WeChat Sports fitness tracker developed by Tencent.

Students also have to do at least 40 minutes of exercise at a sports stadium once a week. Those who don’t want to do the 10,000 steps can swap them for more sports stadium training.

Students who fail to reach these goals will have 10 percent deducted from their physical education class grades.

The new rules, which came into effect at the start of last month, aim to improve the participation of students in exercise. The rules were launched as part of a push by the Ministry of Education.

One physical education teacher at the university said there is limited time available for fitness classes, so more emphasis is being placed on extracurricular activities in the hope that students can develop a life-long exercise habit.

Many students say that the goal of making 10,000 steps is difficult to reach, as their campus is not big enough. And some are claiming that students are finding ways to cheat the new system.

Guangdong Foreign Studies University is not the only school to introduce rules to encourage students to exercise. In 2016, several universities, including Tsinghua University, Beijing Normal University, and Wuhan University told students to record the amount of time they exercise.