Is a high-tech lifestyle damaging our kids' physical development?

A high-tech lifestyle could be damaging our children's physical development.

Only 11% of adolescents tested recently had mastered movements considered normal development for a younger child aged six.

The finding has prompted the largest study of its kind anywhere in the world, to examine the underlying factors.

DCU Professor Noel O'Conor said he was concerned that Irish children were falling seriously behind when it came to basic physical skills incuding running, jumping, kicking and catching.

"It manifests itself much later in a whole variety of health problems from diabetes to cardio-vascular disease and obesity," he said.

"We don't want to be alarmist, but at the same time this is a serious challenge that we need to address.

"What we're trying to do with this (research) project is to figure out from a scientific basis how to inject a change in behaviour into the process to ensure this doesn’t continue."

He said we used to think that children acquired these skills naturally, but "it turns out these skills have to be learned".

"With an increase in a sedentary lifestyle, there is less opportunity for children to learn these skills…The knock-of effect is that if they don't learn these skills they won't enjoy physical activity.

"The net result is we have less active children."


Related Articles

START campaign aims to tackle obesity levels in children as one in four now overweight

One in four Irish children now overweight or obese, new campaign launched today

'Aggressive' obesity prevention and treatment needed, according to new HSE clinical lead

New cholesterol vaccine offers hope for thousands

More in this Section

Cork man faces retrial on robbery charge after judge's 'erroneous reference'

Pilot denies email was an attempt to bring Ryanair 'to its knees'

Supergrass Haggarty warned police of plots to kill two men, court told

Man jailed for fraudulently claiming over €136,000 in welfare payments


Today's Stories

Quarter of early years staff short on references

Man accused of stealing paninis opts for jury trial

€10m works to rectify dangerous bends on Kerry road

RSA honours man left paralysed after traffic collision 11 years ago for road safety work

Lifestyle

Wishlist: Must-have Christmas gifts and the joy of Ikea

Timing is everything as The Frank and Walters revisit 'Grand Parade'

A question of taste: Eileen O'Shea

Eoghan O'Sullivan's picks his highlights of 2017

More From The Irish Examiner