Trying to find the right balance between sedentary and physical activities can be hard, especially when our lives are full of electronic entertainment and labour-saving devices. If one cannot find that balance or is to sedentary it can really effect their personal health. The current trends of children and young adult movement patterns and participation in physical activity, aren't finding that balance and are leaning towards sedentary behavior. (Sports Med Adis Data Information. 2007.) (1. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) In NSW, as students get older the amount of time engaged in sedentary activities increases and the amount of time engaged in physical activity decreases. Children are starting to become more inclined to be sedentary rather than doing physical activity, for example choosing to watch television instead of going for a bike ride with friends. (1. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) Half of NSW student’s sedentary behaviour involves small screen recreations such as televisions, computers, phones, games and Ipods. Over the past few years there has been a huge rise in the amount of televisions found in children’s bedrooms. This creates more opportunities and temptations to be involved in the sedentary activity of watching television. Obesity and health issues can then be formed due to constant sitting and unintentional binge eating of junk food due to the distraction. (1. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) (3. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.)
Young adults and children shouldn’t spend more than 2 hours per day on small screen recreations. In NSW 72% of high school students (77% boys and 67% girls) spend more than 2 hours on small screen recreation each day. Between the age of 4 and 5 89% of children also spend more than 2 hours participating in sedentary activities per day. (1. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) (3. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.)
There was a huge increase in the proportion of students who were sedentary for more than 2 hours a day between 1996 and 2008. Between 2004 and 2010 there was a trend towards the increase of the amount of time spent by students engaged in small screen recreations. The 2007 National Child Nutrition and Physical Activity survey found that only a third of children between the age of 9 and 16 did no more than two hours of non-education screen time activities each day. In the 2008 NSW School Students Health Behaviors Survey 91.7% of students were sedentary for at least 2 hours a day when not at school or not completing homework. Between 2007 and 2008 53.5% of children aged from 5 to 15 were driven to school every day and 47.2% of children used electronic media for entertainment for more than the appropriate amount of time (2 hours). (4. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) (5. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) (6. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.) (7. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.)
Over an observed recess of 4 year olds, 58.9% of the time the children were sedentary whist 41.1% of the time they were moderately physically active. This provides evidence that from a young age children are choosing to be sedentary over physically active and it only gets inferior as they age. Students in Year 6 spend around 34 hours of their free time each week occupied in sedentary activities. This figure increases to 41 hours for students in Year 8 and a further 4 hours of sedentary behaviour for students in Year 10. (1. Healthy Kids, eat well, get active. 2013.)
Physical activity patterns appear to be influenced by gender, season, wealth and nationality. Boys are found to have greater participants in physical activities than girls within the teenage years (12-16). In the 2010 summer during the school terms, two thirds of students in Years 6, 8 and 10 did at least one hour of physical activity per day, but in winter this number reduced to only half. Students with wealthy or advantaged...
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