Are young people are becoming less active globally?
A World Health Organisation report in November 2019 claimed 80% of the world’s children are not active enough. This is based on data from 1.6 million students in 146 countries up till 2016.
In the UK in 2016, more than 85% of girls and 75% of boys were not active enough, according to the report.
The blame falls entirely on the growth of digital media and screen time, says the WTO.
Interestingly, that conclusion might not be entirely accurate. A Norwegian study has been comparing the difference in physical activity in young people between 2005 and 2018. During this period, they found that young people were increasingly spending more time on screens, but their activity levels were no different in 2018 to 2005.
Ekelund and his colleagues at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences concluded that it’s possible to spend a lot of time on the internet and social media, and still be physically active.
Until there is more accurate data available, it will be hard to accurately monitor any changes in physical activity. However, other researchers point to an increase in childhood obesity and lifestyle-related disease being circumstantial evidence that the internet revolution is indeed having a negative impact.