Our society has become motionless. Childhood and adolescence are being clocked more and more: schooled, housed – wasted?
The sports broadcast (스포츠중계) in Medea TV pointed out that the future of sports industry is concerned. Children today are less interested in sports. The fact is that the degrees of freedom of children and adolescents are decreasing massively. Is there anything more valuable than a fulfilled childhood than the time to play, the time in nature? Is there anything more valuable than freedom? Around 40 percent of the pupils attend all-day schools, in Saxony almost 80 percent. There is less, and less time left for hobbies, sports, games and music.
The average day of a child now consists of: nine hours of lying, nine hours of sitting, five hours of standing, one hour of movement – between 15 and 20 minutes of which are intense. The time spent unattended playing and moving has decreased by more than 50 percent in less than a generation. Only every third child still plays outdoors every day, 25 percent only once a week or not at all.
Children and adolescents exercise less
Children and young people now exercise less than ever before. 15 percent of the children are overweight, more than six percent are even obese. 35 percent of four to 17-year-olds cannot take two or more steps backwards on a three centimeter wide bar. 86 percent fail to stand on one leg for a minute. 43 percent fail to hit the ground if they bend forward with their legs straight. These are current numbers – from before the great digital revolution this society is yet to face.
A healthy mind in a healthy body. This guiding principle, like many degrees of freedom, is willingly sacrificed on the altar of schooling, digitalism and the development of “human capital” for the economy. The new “big hit” in education policy is: digital pact. The Basic Law has been changed so that the federal government can invest directly in the school system. Five billion euros for the digitization of schools. That sounds good. As long as you don’t ask.
At the beginning of the 1990s, primary and secondary schools were still teaching up to four hours of sport per week – today the average is between 2.2 and 2.4 hours. In eleven of the 16 federal states, primary school physical education was cut to two hours. One in four fails. A fifth of the sports facilities are outdated and ailing.
Sport promotes endurance, strength and coordination skills
Several studies have shown that stamina, strength and coordination skills increase the more sport is done.
With the performance, the self-esteem also increases. Physically trained children show improvements in reaction times, alertness, and working memory. In addition, many studies show a positive relationship between the level of activity and school performance. “There is clear evidence that regular physical activity, especially coordination movement tasks, results in an increase in synapses in the brain,” says Helmut Altenberger, sports educator at the University of Augsburg.
Reduction of aggression, increase in tolerance, open-mindedness
Sports scientists at the University of Karlsruhe have investigated the concrete effects of a daily sports lesson on elementary school children: As expected, the students at the experimental school performed significantly better in the sports motor tests than those at a comparative school – the children with the weakest movement benefited the most.
More remarkable, however, were the other results: the reduction of aggression, the increase in tolerance and consideration, as well as a greater openness towards teaching.
In summary, today more than any other, when children are homeschooled and spend more time seated facing digitized lectures, parents and teachers should work together to encourage movement among children. Physical education should still be implemented following proper guidelines issued by the Department of Education and to be implemented by teachers through parents. This way, children can still have proper physical education while homeschooling.