Wednesday , November 25 2020

Schools can help prevent screen-related illnesses

(Quebec) The school is a “springboard for action” in the fight against obesity and sedentary lifestyles, created by screens, said an expert from the Central Administration of St. Justin.

Caroline Plant
Canadian press

Currently, primary and secondary schools in Quebec offer little advice on managing screen time and multiple periods of physical education, according to Melanie Henderson.

“We have an extraordinary springboard to act here because all young people are studying,” the pediatric endocrinologist said in an interview, saying she was concerned about what she saw in the clinic.

Many young people, deprived of the usual exercise, glued to the screens, now have to face the problems of overweight, obesity, hypertension and diabetes.

“What do I see? I see young people who have catastrophic weight gain. […] It is difficult when you gain 15 kilograms in three or four months […] lose it. ”

Melanie Henderson refers to an American study, according to which 57% of modern children are obese before the age of 35, which is three times higher than the average obesity among adults over 35 years.

Changes, she said, could come through the school.

“We have an interesting opportunity at school to develop extracurricular programs, programs of activity during the break, to increase the time for physical education lessons.

“Not only is this a role, but we have a great opportunity to truly reach out to the entire pediatric and adolescent population and make interventions that have compelling consequences. ”

Has the tablet proven itself?

In addition, Dr. Henderson is wondering about the tablet in schools, which is becoming increasingly popular and requires a pandemic.

In any case, she believes that the Ministry of Education cannot do without assessing the impact of this technology on young people.

“I, I’m not sure it’s best for young people because it creates a lot of distractions, but if we think it’s a good way, very perfect, let’s evaluate. […] Let’s see if it gives better results. ”

The mass influx of tablets to schools has never been accompanied by the necessary warning against the harmful effects, unfortunately, earlier this week, experts are attentive to this issue.

Their media intervention came nine months after a government forum on youth screens and health, a forum that was interrupted by a pandemic and followed by no further action.

In the first part of the forum, it was concluded that screens affect vision, sleep, weight and language skills, in addition to increasing the risk of addiction, anxiety and low self-esteem.

“Health screen data is not recognized in education,” said Tanya Tremblay, a psychology professor at Montmorency College and a UQAM research lawyer at The Canadian Press.

Caroline Fitzpatrick, Department of Psychology at the University of St Anne in Nova Scotia, called for a committee where health and education experts could “try to create a dialogue”.

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