EXERCISE: ‘Global epidemic' of childhood inactivity
December 02, 2019 • 1 min read
-- Four in five 11-to-17-year-olds around the world are not taking enough physical exercise
All that ‘digital’ play is eating into time spent exercising, leading to damaged health, brain development, and social skills.
The World Health Organisation says the problem is almost universal, with children in both rich and poor countries failing to take the recommended hour a day of exercise.
Boys were more active than girls in all but four of the 146 countries studied.
“Active adolescents are likely to be active adults,” says the WHO’s Dr Regina Guthold, adding that lack of exercise puts one in four adults at risk.
And people who are consistently active over a lifetime decrease their risk of many diseases, from heart attacks and stroke to type-2 diabetes.
So much for the digital revolution
Unprecedented access to digital entertainment could be at the root of the problem. Dr Mark Tremblay, from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, in Canada, said: “The electronic revolution has fundamentally transformed people’s movement patterns by changing where and how they live, learn, work, play, and travel, progressively isolating them indoors, most often in chairs.”
Mums were right: “Go outside and play!”