Yechen YAO

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Sociology and Social Policy

First Advisor

Prof. PHILLIPS, David Rosser

Second Advisor

Prof. DAVID, Roman


Public Square Dance, or Guang Chang Wu (GCW) is a form of group dance that originated from Mainland China and has emerged gradually in Hong Kong. Like the more traditional Tai Chi, GCW is popular among the middle-aged and older adults, and is carried out in public spaces. However, the two activities seem to be treated quite differently by both government authorities and the general public. The study aims to compare the physiological, social and psychological benefits of the two forms of exercise. It also seeks to explore whether and how social determinants affect people’s choice to participate in either Tai Chi or GCW. 189 Tai Chi and 188 GCW participants were surveyed. Binary logistic regression, MANOVA and univariate ANOVA were used for data analysis. It is shown that age, gender, birthplace, employment, residence, as well as people’s leisure attitude, all influence the likelihood that someone participates in Tai Chi or GCW. On the other hand, the effects on well-being, social inclusion, social network and life satisfaction are similar between Tai Chi and GCW participants, though the two groups differ in terms of their opinions on leisure satisfaction and utilisation of public space. As GCW is largely an unsanctioned activity in Hong Kong, policy makers should acknowledge the advantages of GCW activity, and adopt measures that regulate GCW participation in Hong Kong. This is not only one of the early studies focused on the cultural differences between Mainland immigrants and natives in Hong Kong, it also has important implications for future research in leisure, gender, ageing and cultural studies.

Recommended Citation

Yao, Y. (2015). Leisure and life satisfaction among Tai Chi and public square dance participants in Hong Kong (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from

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