2012年7月24日 星期二

Taiwan, China split on tourism safety

Taiwan, China split on tourism safety

ACCIDENTS:One travel expert said the whirlwind tours that Chinese groups favor and random shopping stops could be to blame for a recent spate of accidents

Staff writer, with CNA
Chinese media are questioning the safety and quality of tours Chinese nationals take in Taiwan, but a Taiwanese tourism industry official said the arguments were either off base or presented an incomplete picture.
In an article posted on the Web site of China Huayi Broadcasting Corp, Wang Jianmin (王建民) of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Friday said the packed itineraries of Chinese tour groups in Taiwan have led to higher safety risks because tour bus drivers often speed from location to location.
Wang said Taiwan should not ignore the poor quality of the tours, especially with the number of Chinese visitors to Taiwan expected to surpass 2 million this year.
The overseas edition of the People’s Daily, a Chinese Communist Party organ, also published an article on Saturday that detailed five tour bus accidents involving Chinese tour groups this year and urged Taiwanese authorities to improve infrastructure and reduce safety risks.
Travel Agent Association of Taiwan secretary-general Roget Hsu (許高慶) said on Sunday that he did not feel the criticism was warranted, adding that Taiwanese tour operators have better risk management than their Chinese counterparts.
However, he agreed that the whirlwind tour itineraries around Taiwan had contributed to an increase in the accident rate, but said he expected the problem to ease over time.
As more independent Chinese travelers visit Taiwan and China’s tourism industry develops, there will be fewer tours trying to see the whole of Taiwan in eight days — the favored itinerary among Chinese group tours at present — Hsu said.
He also foresaw an increase in in-depth tours focusing on certain regions rather than those circling Taiwan in one visit.
One factor overlooked by the Chinese critique of local tour safety, Hsu said, was the role of Chinese tour leaders.
He said most of the complaints the association has received about Chinese tour groups are from Taiwanese tour guides, who grumble about the Chinese leaders of the tours randomly adding shopping stops to make extra commissions.
Taiwanese and Chinese tour operators should improve coordination and supervision of tour schedules, Hsu said.
He also promised that the association would improve the training of Taiwanese guides in tour management.
Regarding complaints about Chinese tour group leaders, Tourism Bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Hsi-tsung (張錫聰) said the cases would be handed over to China’s Association for Tourism Exchange Across the Taiwan Strait.
The bureau is also working with other government agencies and local authorities to increase inspections of transportation equipment and accommodation to ensure the quality of Chinese group tours in Taiwan, Chang added.

2012年7月10日 星期二

研究:每天坐超三小時 預期壽命減Sitting For More Than Three Hours A Day Cuts Life Expectancy

研究:每天坐超三小時 預期壽命減兩年
Sitting For More Than Three Hours A Day Cuts Life Expectancy
項最新研究表明,每天坐三個小時以上可減少兩年的預期壽命,就算保持良好的運動習慣、禁絕吸煙等不良嗜好也無助於改變這一結果。《英國醫學雜志》在線版(BMJ Open)將於周二發表該項研究。



該 項研究的項目主管之一卡茲馬茲克(Peter T. Katzmarzyk)說,對於那些久坐成習的人,我們給他們的建議不僅僅應該是每天運動30分鐘。卡茲馬茲克是路易斯安那州首府巴吞魯日市(Baton Rouge)彭寧頓生物醫學研究中心(Pennington Biomedical Research Center)的一名人口學教授。





研 究人員在確定久坐這一行為的流行程度時利用了美國國家健康與營養調查(National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)提供的2009年至2010年間的久坐習慣數據。目前可得的最新電視觀看數據是2005年到2006年間的數據。






 Sitting down for more than three hours a day can shave a person's life expectancy by two years, even if he or she is physically active and refrains from dangerous habits like smoking, according to a study to be published on Tuesday in the online journal BMJ Open.

Watching TV for more than two hours a day can exacerbate that problem, decreasing life expectancy by another 1.4 years, said the report, which analyzed five underlying studies of nearly 167,000 people over a range of four to 14 years.

The meta-analysis comes just two years after Australian researchers found that people who said they watched TV for more than four hours a day were 46% more likely to die of any cause than people who said they spent less than two hours a day watching TV. Those watching TV more than four hours a day were also 80% more likely to die of cardiovascular disease.

'Sedentary behavior is something we need to take note of beyond telling people to get 30 minutes of activity a day,' said Peter T. Katzmarzyk, one of the lead researchers for the study and a professor of population science at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.

'We have people who can meet that guideline,' explained Dr. Katzmarzyk. 'However, if you're sedentary or sitting the other 20 hours a day, you're still going to be at risk for that.'

But while the evidence linking sedentary behavior to various illnesses is mounting, it remains difficult for many people to find time to get on their feet, especially if they work desk jobs.

'Try to stand as much as you can,' Dr. Katzmarzyk said. 'Typically when you're on the telephone you can stand with speaker phone. Instead of emailing someone in the office, just get up and go talk to them.'

However, Dr. Katzmarzyk added, standing shouldn't be an alternative to exercising, but an alternative to sitting. 'Several studies show that when you're sitting, your leg muscles are completely inactive,' he said. 'When you're sitting and completely inactive, this is when you run into trouble managing blood glucose.'

Researchers determined the prevalence of sedentary behavior by using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which provided data on sitting habits between 2009 and 2010. The most recent available data on TV viewing was between 2005 and 2006.

When looking at the five underlying studies, the researchers eliminated data on patients with existing diseases and were therefore more likely to be sitting a lot.

One of the analysis's limitations was that it relied on self-reporting, as people tend to underestimate how much sitting they do, Dr. Katzmarzyk said.

The study bolsters an emerging body of research that points to a number of dangers associated with leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Last year, scientists found that people who worked 10 years in sedentary jobs, or jobs that don't require a lot of energy expenditure, had twice the risk of colon cancer and a 44% increased risk of rectal cancer, compared with people who had never worked sedentary jobs.

And in March, scientists found that the rate of cancers linked to obesity and lack of physical activity, such as cancers of the kidney, pancreas, lower esophagus and uterus, rose every year from 1999 through 2008.