People’s lives are becoming more and more sedentary. As more and more jobs and daily routines are related with computers, smartphones or other devices, it influences not just our way of communicating and reacting, but also the ways we are using our body. You will often hear people speaking about the ways they used to play just some 20 years ago which was replaced with video games and social networking practices. We all remember spending endless hours outdoors with other kids climbing trees, inventing games or just wandering around in various adventures. The fact is that having fun was inseparable from physical activity and being outside no matter what season was in question. Common image representing kids playing used to show them spending time together in direct interaction, while contemporary representations show kids isolated into their own virtual worlds through smart devices.
Challenges of new technologies are of course not effecting only children and young adults, but they seem to be the most vulnerable group. Contemporary way of life for most of the people with extended working hours in front of the computer usually includes regular workout habits – no matter if that means going to yoga classes, gym or swimming before work.
There are several reasons why kids and teenagers more and more experience sedentary lifestyle and consequences it brings. Of course, like everywhere else in the world kids and teens just love video games. They can’t be easily separated from their computers and mobile phones because being online and keeping in touch with everyone is today’s must. Apart from that, high expectancy from education makes some schools neglect physical activities. Parents have the biggest responsibility, but they often get to busy to manage extra-school activities for their kids. In Dubai and in the whole region there are less sport competitions for children compared to US for example. So, this part of motivation to regularly practice sports is lacking
Long summer with extreme heats is what differs Dubai from other places and makes it even harder for children to spend more time outdoors in spontaneous games with others. Keeping away from the sun is necessary for avoiding heat exhaustion. Combination of all these factors results in an increasing tendency in overweight and obesity. Some surveys show that those who sit 6 hours per day are more likely to feel psychological distress (to feel nervous, restless, hopeless and even tired!) than those who sit only 3 hours per day.