Our Culture of Convenience and its effect on the Health of Kids
by XavierGagnon on October 5, 2017 - 8:38pm
In our modern times, society has strived to develop more and more technology designed to simplify our lives. In Canada, a highly visible negative consequence of this pursuit of convenience is the drastic reduction in the amount of physical activity in which citizen take part in, especially in the kids of the newest generation. This includes all manners of their lives, whether that be in gym class, on the playground, while travelling to and from school; physical activity in general has been replaced by a more efficient or more attractive medium. A Report from “Active Healthy Kids Canada” has graded 15 different countries around the world in terms of physical activity of children, and while Canada scores an average of around C- in most categories, it lands a disgusting F for Sedentary Behaviour. According to this same study, only seven percent of kids between five to 11 meet the required 60 minutes of vigorous activity for a healthy lifestyle. One potential cause of this stems from the desire of Canadians to be increasingly efficient, and for many people, cutting physical activity is one way to make more time for other, potentially more productive activities. Another big threat to a healthy lifestyle for kids in Canada is parenting. Indeed, although 79 percent of parents claim they spend to motivate their kids to move, only about 37 percent actually set an example and actively play with their kids. This sets a bad example for the youth who, already living in a society who does not value physical activity as much as they should, are threatened by such plagues as obesity and all related health risks.
I think, in this, everyone has a role to play to reverse this less-than-ideal situation. Indeed, kids need support from not only their parents, but also from their teachers, from communities and the government. However, one of the predicaments Canada, and most western countries, find itself in is that the same people who are in a position to help are also the ones easing the advancement of this issue. Governments push for more available public transportation and education in technologies. Parents drive their children to school, and buy them phones and gadgets. This problem is engrained in our culture, and the newest generation of parents isn’t looking to be helping much. In the end, it may be that this problem could be solved by the very engine causing it, the advent of technology, through things that make physical activity itself more convenient, but there certainly needs to be a countrywide change in values and priorities for that to really take place.
Are your kids lazy? It may be due to our 'culture of convenience'