Students show ‘concerning levels’ of sedentary behaviour, study finds

sedentary behaviour youth

A recent study conducted in Cyprus has found that students in the country display concerning levels of sedentary behavior. A significant percentage of teenagers spend prolonged periods sitting, with nearly half engaging in digital activities for more than two hours daily.

What are the findings of the recent study on sedentary behaviour among students in Cyprus?

The recent study reveals that students in Cyprus show high levels of sedentary behaviour, with 28.6% of 15-year-olds, 23.2% of 13-year-olds, and 20.4% of 11-year-olds sitting for prolonged periods. Nearly half engage in digital activities for over two hours daily, and while about two-thirds meet WHO physical activity guidelines, this decreases with age, especially by age 15.

A Close Look at the Sedentary Lifestyle of Youths in Cyprus

The well-being of the younger generation has come under scrutiny, as a recent study unveils some unsettling patterns. Students in Cyprus demonstrate ‘concerning levels’ of sedentary behaviour, with a significant portion of teenagers spending extended periods of time seated.

The Study’s Findings

A study spearheaded by HBSC for the World Health Organisation conducted between 2021 and 2022, which involved around 4,800 students from various educational levels, has shone a light on the lifestyle habits of the youth. The older the students, the more sedentary they tend to be. This increase in inactivity is followed by a noticeable dip in physical activity.

For 15-year-olds, 28.6% of them are found to be predominantly sedentary throughout their day. The figures for younger children stand at 20.4% for 11-year-olds and 23.2% for those aged 13.

Digital Device Usage Among Students

An alarming insight from the study is the extent of time children dedicate to digital entertainment. Nearly half engage in computer games, social networking, and other digital activities for at least two hours daily. While boys lean more towards computer games, girls show a preference for social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

TV Viewing Habits

The concern extends to television consumption as well, with 39.9% of children watching TV or videos for more than two hours each day. A smaller, yet significant, fraction of children use the internet for information gathering purposes.

Physical Activity Among Children

On a brighter note, approximately two-thirds of the participating children meet the WHO’s vigorous physical activity guidelines, engaging in exercise that induces breathlessness or sweating thrice weekly. Nevertheless, this frequency seems to wane by the age of 15, trailing behind the figures reported by younger children.

Gender Differences in Digital Preferences

The gender divide in digital preferences is quite stark. Boys seem to have a predilection for computer games, while girls are more inclined to use computers for social networking.

Broadening The Perspective

In light of these discoveries, it is evident that there is a pressing need to address the lifestyle choices of children and adolescents in Cyprus. The inclination towards a sedentary lifestyle is not just a local issue but a global one that requires comprehensive strategies to encourage more active and less digitally-focused activities among young people.

Report by the Cyprus Mail’s Chief Reporter

Andria Kades, who has been exploring the depths of political and human rights issues since 2015, contributed to this report by shedding light on the latest study findings.

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Utilizing Digital Spaces Responsibly

While the digital landscape offers boundless opportunities for learning and connection, it is crucial to navigate these spaces thoughtfully to avoid the pitfalls of excessive sedentary behaviour.

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Quick Recap

  • A recent study in Cyprus found that students in the country display concerning levels of sedentary behavior, with a significant percentage spending prolonged periods sitting.
  • Nearly half of the students engage in digital activities for more than two hours daily.
  • The percentage of students engaging in sedentary behavior decreases with age, especially by age 15.
  • Boys lean more towards computer games, while girls show a preference for social media platforms.
  • Approximately two-thirds of the participating children meet the WHO’s physical activity guidelines, but this decreases with age.

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