How too much TV, little or no real games is ‘killing’ children
|Akingili Primary School pupils during physical education. [PHOTOS: NYWAWIRA/ STANDARD]|
SEE ALSO :Shopper’s paradise‘Go girl Go!’ The survey seems to be telling the girls. ‘Be brash, run, jump and break the glass ceiling.’ “This report card will be produced periodically to monitor health behaviours of Kenyan children and youth as a means of holding all accountable for the health of our children,” said Onywera. Despite beating the rural children in national examinations, urban children have one or two things to learn from their rural counterparts on how to keep physically fit. Besides active play, the researchers say, rural youth reported spending part of their leisure time doing household chores “For example, rural children and youth reported fetching water from distant streams, fetching firewood, gardening, and running associated with cattle herding,” he said. On the other hand when the rural boy is herding goats his city counterpart is studying, watching television or listening to the radio.
SEE ALSO :MPs want prompt funding for TVETDespite being viewed as taking away play time, researchers say household chores are beneficial to the health of rural children. “We know so. But when my children go to the village they follow me back to Nairobi within a day or two. They claim in the village it is too boring and there is unwelcome back breaking manual work,” says Jean Ndena, a nurse at a city hospital. The researchers say it is important for children to spend more time in rural areas or at least do household chores while in the urban areas. According to the score-card parents interviewed said they were more active in their youth compared to their children. But even in urban areas there are some discrepancies, children in private schools have more obese cases compared to those in public institutions. Those in public schools especially boys are more likely to be running to and from school while their counterparts in private institutions are most likely driven to their destinations. In private schools children are more likely to be involved in posh and less active games while those in public institutions engage in less prestigious but more vigorous games. “Children from rich families were found to predominantly participate in sports perceived as more prestigious and associated with higher costs, while the poorer dominated in inexpensive sports such as soccer, netball, or hockey.” Although the study did not get into eating habits, it showed a high number of children are underweight especially in rural areas which is not good for their health and social mobility.
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