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whether that be in gym class, on the playground, while travelling to and from school; physical activity in general has been replaced by a more efficient or more attractive medium.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'

CBC News - http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/physical-inactivity-of-canadian-kids-blame...

Comments

This summary touches very important social issues regarding today’s youth that favors convenience over health. Obesity regarding young people has become a plague due to our behavioral and environmental surroundings that will end up effecting the future health of children. It is interesting to see that Canada, a country that is known for many sports, scores such a low score, this is very disappointing. As Xavier mentions, there are many factors that result in this inactive lifestyle that children nowadays are adopting and a lot more can be done than simply telling parents and teachers to become role models to encourage their children. For example, the amount of television and videogames that children nowadays have at their fingertips is a factor, as well, in relationship to the amount of physical activity children will part take in. Therefore, I believe the way to put an end to this problem is to integrate more physical activity into school systems as children spend an unnecessary amount of time sitting down in these institutions. Also, I believe it is essential for sports organizations to make sports a lot more accessible and affordable to the public.

Marshall, S. J., et al. "Relationships between Media use, Body Fatness and Physical Activity in Children and Youth: A Meta-Analysis." International Journal of Obesity and Related Disorders, vol. 28, no. 10, 2004, pp. 1238-1246, SciTech Premium Collection, https://proquest-crc.proxy.ccsr.qc.ca/docview/219312420?accountid=44391, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0802706.

I agree with your point; our culture promotes sedentary life to children. Video games, TV, computers, or cell phones are all part of this subtle issue. As you explained teachers, parents and government should aim to sensitive children about the importance to practice sports.
I think we should firstly convince parents and teachers of the importance of physical activities. Indeed, education is the key to solve this problem. There are four principal advantages that parents and teachers would like to see their children gain through sports. There is social skills, self-esteem, academic success, and lifelong health. Indeed, sports help children with there social skills throughout the interactions with their teammates and coaches. Furthermore, physical activities help children to trust their abilities and interpret criticisms as constructive rather than an insult. In addition, sports are directly related to academic success. Children learn to apply the same effort and concentration in their school works than in their sports. Finally, physical activities promote a healthy life which reduces the risks of diseases and increase the quality of your children’s life.

Link: https://www.livestrong.com/article/160825-why-should-children-play-sports/

I like the topic you selected as it is rarely touched upon but has a big impact on the society creating on one part health, concentration and self-confidence problems and on the other part adds bigger strain on the healthcare budget. The North-American mindset is so focused on work that we often forget that our wellbeing is as important of an economic asset as it is our dedication to our work and this is true for each of us individually and as a society. A healthy and active population tends to be more productive at work, more creative and have a good demographic situation. A sedentary lifestyle is often linked to depression which leads to less productivity in the workplace. It also is a key factor in the obesity epidemic which affects fertility rates due to changing hormonal balance in the affected people. To promote an active lifestyle a major societal initiative is needed. "Mens sana in corpore sano" - a healthy mind in a healthy body is apparently a saying that many of us have forgotten.

I chose to comment on your summary because physical activity is a very important part of my life for multiple reasons. In fact, my cousins, my brother and I have played sports our whole lives, so I grew up in an active lifestyle. Unfortunately, my grand-father suffered from a heart complication due to physical inactivity, which made me realize even more how physical activity is a crucial factor in human health and how not enough people are living such active lifestyles. On top of that, I think your summary was very well structured and mentioned all of the important points of your article which I also liked a lot. Not only does it state the big problem concerning the lack of physical activity in everyone’s life, but it also elaborates on the multiple ways people tend to choose efficiency over health, the consequences of those actions and some solutions to those.
I found a very interesting article that added on the topic you chose, which was from the Medical Daily. The author, Charles Poladian (2012), states how, as you mentioned, the many technological advances have definitely made our lives easier, but have made humans worldwide become extremely lazy. Furthermore, while the majority of people tends to blame the technological gadgets such as televisions, cellphones and video game consoles, but also a lot on electronics such as microwaves and washing machines, which has dramatically changed the way people clean and cook at their house. For example, cleaning the house used to be quite an activity to do, but now there are all sorts of washing tools like vacuums and Swiffer mops that will practically do the work for you. Also, if you want to wash your clothes, washing machines will do the whole work for you. Therefore, all of these house electronic examples are reasons why laziness and inactivity is increasing worldwide.
Reference: Poladian, C. (June 15, 2012). Rapid Increase of Worldwide Laziness as Global Physical Activity Levels Decline. Medical Daily. Retrieved from http://www.medicaldaily.com/rapid-increase-worldwide-laziness-global-phy...

Your summary really caught my attention due to the fact that it deals with the effects of our culture of convenience on our youth. This major urban social issue interests me since I am directly affected by this issue.

As you have stated in your summary, societal influence on our use of new technology results in a new generation of children who are less physically active. In addition to reducing physical activity in our youth, this culture of convenience has been the root to many other problems. For example, a study made at the University of California has shown that our children’s digital habits negatively affects their social skills and reduces their sleeping time (Pogue, 2015, p. 29). Furthermore, a Stanford University study has shown that the use of multitasking computers such as phones and tablets by teenagers could be detrimental towards their ability to focus (Pogue, 2015, p. 29).

Reference: Pogue, D. (2015). The Touch Screen Generation. Scientific American, 313(2), 29. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite.