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Computer games are “exercise”, say quarter of UK kids

Almost a quarter of children in the United Kingdom think playing video games counts as exercise, according to a new study.

The report, which comes courtesy of the Youth Sport Trust (YST), surveyed 1,000 children between the ages of five and 16.

It found a staggering 23 per cent of these youngsters “think playing a computer game with friends is a form of exercise,” as reported by The Telegraph.

What’s more, the study also reveals 35 per cent of our nation’s youth now speak to their friends on social media more than they do in person.

The study aims to highlight how sport in UK schools is now at a “critical crossroads”, with young people at risk of becoming “hostage to handheld devices.”

“The world has evolved considerably in the last 20 years and will undoubtedly change further over the next 20,” explains Ali Oliver, YST’s chief executive. “The physical and emotional wellbeing of young people are of growing concern. The digital revolution presents opportunities and challenges with young people potential hostages to their handheld devices.”

She added: “If we are to avoid a future whereby young people are disengaged from physical activity, living increasingly sedentary lifestyles, we must recognise their needs today, working with government and partners within the education, sport and health sectors to improve opportunities for young people through PE and school sport.”

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The YST suggests that schools should begin to incorporate technology into sports lessons to recapture the interest of children.

“There is no resisting the march of technology. Policymakers can feel nostalgic for a time before the challenges new connected technologies have brought in engaging young people, or they can harness these technologies to their advantage,” the report argued.

It continued: “In order to get children active from a young age, a more holistic approach to PE is needed, one which integrates technology and the delivery of a seamless, intuitive and digitally enhanced form of physical activity.”

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