Growing youth dependence on technology

Coaches Corner by Dave Gleason

Growing youth dependence on technology

As seen in Wicked Local Pembroke and the Pembroke Mariner

 

Children all over the US are returning to school next week, leaving houses empty for perhaps the first time since summer began. Recent research indicates that the number of children who remain indoors and “plugged in” to technology has been growing substantially at the expense of physical activity and free play.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project found that 93 percent of American adolescents use the Internet, with 73 percent having a Facebook account. These values have increased significantly from previous years, as well as ownership of cell phones.

“It is scary that children are no longer getting outside, exploring their neighborhoods, and physically playing with others. This is a key link in the chain of childhood obesity and sports injuries,” reported Dave Gleason who was recently name to the Board of Experts by the International Youth Conditioning Association.

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation lays bare the extent of the issue. Americans aged 8 to 18 were found to spend more time with media – TV, internet, video games, etc. – than they did at school, with a whopping 7.5 hours a day devoted to media.

That is a lot of time spent indoors.

Gleason who is also owner of the Pembroke youth fitness organization Athletic Revolution, points toward the solution. “Reestablishing a physical culture in today’s youth is a critical step to improving the health of our children.”

Inactivity is linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and depression in youth.

“We teach children that physical activity is not only fun, but also a great way to make friends,” said Gleason. “And if kids are having fun, they are going to want to keep moving.”

For more information on Athletic Revolution or what you can do to get your kids more active, contact Dave Gleason at 781-312-7808

References:

Pew Internet and American Life Project:

http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2011/July/Teen-Data-Resources.aspx

Kaiser Family Foundation: http://www.kff.org/entmedia/mh012010pkg.cfm

 

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