The biggest barrier to students maintaining a healthy lifestyle by remaining physically active The prevalence of obesity has increased among children and adolescents by two-fold, since 1980 (Harrison, Kim, Kagawa-Singer, n.p)…
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Around 61% of obese five to 10 year olds have risk factors for diseases, such as heart disease, and even diabetes. The problems of being obese have magnificent negative consequences for the individual, in terms of social, psychological and physical problems (CDC, pp.2). This problem occurs highly in high-school and university students. Around sixty-four percent of high school students do not engage in any sort of physical activity (CDC, pp.2). Only one-half of high schools students undertake any stretching and strengthening exercises. In fact, according to this CDC survey, the physical activity declines, as students loom closer to graduation (Villaire, n.p).Grubbs (2002) has also acknowledged that the physical activities tend to decline during late adolescence and early adulthood. This problem needs elimination, because this decline in physical activity may continue for the rest of the life (Nizeyimana, pp. 1-2). One should understand the idea behind this problem. Why are students not engaging in physical activities? Is it because of the system of schools? Or because of the recent technological innovations? As Villaire claims, it could be because of the decrease of recess time and gym classes in various high schools. However, researchers also point toward this idea that schools are not the only problem in the system. Parents have an important role in increasing the problem, because of non-existence of strict routines for watching television, using computer, and playing video games. Parents also do not require their children to play outdoors, walk more or even participate in any organized physical activities. According to the writer’s opinion, the biggest constraint to the physical activity remains the technological innovations that have increased in the recent world, which prevents students from maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Sedentary leisure activities have increased for a number of teenagers and adolescents. These activities include watching television, using the computer for long intervals, playing video games on Play Station and X-box. A 1999 report from the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that individuals, aged 2-18, spend more than four hours on average, watching television, using a computer, video games, and other activities mentioned above. Television has been mainly attributed towards decreasing the time, left for physical activity. An indirect consequence on an unhealthy lifestyle of watching television for longer periods of time includes the TV commercials, which may affect children’s eating habits, thus leading to higher consumption of food items, which may increase the chances of obesity (Villaire, n.p). Overall, the physical activity has decreased, because children are being driven to school, to friends’ houses and in the last year of high school, and eventually before college, students are given cars, so they can drive themselves around. This has led to a drastic decrease in physical activity. Hence, new research has also pointed out towards this idea that technology is our problem. Previously, children used to go outside and play in the garden. However, now children like to play indoors, with their x-boxes, or simply watch television with friends. Numerous researches have also pointed out to this idea, especially one by Dietz and Gortmaker (1985), who found out that obesity for a particular sample increased by 2% for every additional hour of watching telev
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