We know for a fact that exercise and teens’ health go well together. Unfortunately, recent studies revealed a worrying trend.
According to a post on Psych Central, children stop enjoying physical activities as they grow older. This conclusion is based on a study conducted by Swiss researchers on a sample of 1,200 students (ages 8 to 12).
Why Do Teens Stop Exercising?
In general, children have an intrinsic motivation for physical activities. And because playing and running around is fun, they tend to engage in physical activities naturally.
But if children naturally inclined to stay active, why do they feel less motivated as they grow older?
To find the answer, we must look at our modern society and the sedentary lifestyle that has become a standard in our everyday life. How can we expect children to remain intrinsically motivated by physical activities if we raise them in a world where adults exercise solely out of necessity?
Furthermore, the way we present and promote psychical activities in schools might be another reason why children find them less fun. In other words, our current educational system prompts teens to engage in psychical activities for a purely academic purpose.
Exercise and Teens: How Can We Fix This?
The first step in solving this issue is to rethink the way we promote exercise among children and teens.
As Dr. Julien Chanal states, “we know that if children are motivated by good reasons when they’re young, then they’ll remain active when they’re adults.”
In other words, we need to make physical activity fun again so that children will grow into adults that stay healthy because they enjoy exercising, not because they ‘have’ to.
There’s no point in using ‘harmful’ motivations – despite their short-term effectiveness – if children end up loathing physical activity in the long run.
Long story short, exercise, and teens’ health is something that we should rethink if we wish to raise a healthy and happy generation.
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