Generation couch potato: television, smartphones and computers make young people couch potatoes
Young people increasingly spend their free time in front of the television and on the computer, smartphone or tablet. In the past, television times of three to four hours a day were often cause for criticism. Today the hours in front of the PC, tablet and smartphone are added, which, according to a current representative survey by the Schwenninger health insurance company and the foundation “Die Gesundarbeiter”, means that “young Germans between 18 and 34 years of age spend an average of four days a week in their free time spend at least six hours in front of TV, computer or cell phone ".
The survey by the Schwenninger health insurance company among 1,000 young adults showed relatively clearly that computers and cell phones do not replace television, but are added. This type of leisure time now takes up so much time that there is hardly any time left for sporting activities, the health insurance company reports. This in turn has negative health effects. In combination with the unhealthy diet that many adolescents care for, sedentary leisure activities can also be seen as an explanation for the increased weight problems in adolescents and young adults.
Men spend more time on television, cell phones and PCs than women The current survey made it clear that young men use electronic media even more intensively than young women, according to the Schwenninger Krankenkasse. According to the study, men spent more than three hours on computers and cell phones five days a week, while women in this age group spent half a day less on a PC or smartphone a week. TV consumption among young Germans is also slightly lower than among men. Ultimately, however, the women also passively spend too much time passively on the TV, PC or smartphone, especially since the survey only asked about their leisure time activities and many of the rest of their day (for example, at school or at university) also spend most of their time sitting .
Alarming development in leisure time activities for young adults The CEO of Schwenninger Krankenkasse, Siegfried Gänsler, summarized that the current study shows that computers, tablets and smartphones do not replace television, but also add to it. This is "an alarming development" because "instead of moving around after sitting mostly at school, studying or working at leisure, young people passively crouch on the couch in front of an electronic device." demonstrated that no relaxation is achieved in this way. Because almost two thirds of the respondents said they often felt tired and exhausted during the day. Actually, more exercise would do them good, and young Germans know that too, reports the Schwenninger health insurance. For example, three out of four respondents stated that they would like to do more sport and do more for their health overall, but would not find enough time for such activities in everyday life. However, there apparently remains the time to spend six hours in front of the television, PC or smartphone.
Health required as a school subject The result of the current survey shows how important it is that our society specifically supports children and adolescents in taking responsibility for their health, emphasized Gänsler. "Because the basis for a health-conscious life with sufficient exercise is laid in childhood," continued the CEO of the Schwenninger Krankenkasse. More needs to be done here to promote the fun of exercise in kindergarten and school. The Schwenninger health insurance company has long been calling for an independent school subject on health. The health insurance company reports that two thirds of those involved in the current survey supported this request. (fp)
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