Researchers at the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute measured the physical activity and bone strength of over 300 teenagers during a four-year period, and found that teens who are less active had weaker bones overall.
Although this isn’t a shocking, breakthrough revelation, it reinforces the idea that teenagers need to remain active despite the myriad of distractions facing them on a daily basis. Video games are one of the biggest obstacles between teenagers and physical activity, as 72% of them indulge in games on a regular basis. Among teenage boys, this number skyrockets up to 84%.
It kind of makes sense right? How many of us have known “that kid” who always sat around all day and either watched movies, messed around on the computer, or played video games? Then when they finally tried to do something athletic they hurt themselves, fracturing bones or worse.
There’s no reason why teenagers shouldn’t be more active. That kind of thing used to come with the territory of being young. Boys wanted to impress girls by how fast they could run or how much weight they could lift, and social media wasn’t a thing (thank goodness). So when did things change?
A 2005 Guardian article helps shed light on the issue. It states that “nine out of 10 schoolchildren are not doing enough exercise to ensure that they grow into healthy adults.” This is especially alarming since British kids have traditionally been a picture of fitness. Sadly, friendly games of soccer (or football, sorry) have been replaced by nightlong games of Call of Duty.
60 minutes of physical activity is usually what’s recommended by health professionals, but few kids are able to reach such standard. Back in the ol’ timey days this was much easier to achieve; many kids walked to and from school each day, they didn’t have the pressure of advanced placement courses and highly competitive college admissions processes to keep them indoors studying at all hours. Life was much simpler, and healthier for the youth of decades past. But alas, let’s not use technology as our scapegoat.
Blaming video games is the cheap and easy way to address a larger problem. Lost libido. Kids want what’s easy, which is to sit in front of their Xbox playing multiplayer mode. They simply don’t have the competitive drive to go out and get a part-time job or compete against their peers in sports. A wise man once said that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Well, so is libido. We need our kids to start regaining this sense of willpower, or else we’re in serious trouble down the road.
This is what we want from all of our teenagers:
When you're trying to get a 4.0 GPA, work, volunteer, sleep 8 hours, eat 3 meals, exercise, & have a social life but a day is only 24 hours pic.twitter.com/dfgMrGUZed
— Teenager Notes (@teenagernotes) September 24, 2016