Report: British Children Are Getting Soft

Illustration for article titled Report: British Children Are Getting Soft

In the dark times, before the internet and video games, British children played outside. Now? They don't!

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According to a British Triathlon and Tata Steel poll of 1,500 children aged six to 15, 10 percent could not ride a bicycle and 15 percent could not swim. More numbers, via the BBC:

- 22 percent had never run 400 meters
- 15 percent had never played a sport with their parents
- 33 percent didn't own a bicycle
- 77 percent owned a game console
- 68 percent owned a cell phone

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There is some fun with data going on here. For example, 23 percent of children do not own a game console, and 32 don't own a cell phone. That's almost as many as the kids who do not own a bicycle!

The real issue here is that a number of kids said they'd never played a sport with their parents. That's a shame.

Young people, old people, please go outside. Video games are great (they really are), but so is riding a bicycle, collecting insects and kicking a soccer ball. Do that, too.

Illustration for article titled Report: British Children Are Getting Soft
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A generation of children 'turn their backs on sport' [BBC]

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DISCUSSION

James Whitbrook

Wow, this is really weird. Even being a 90's kid - the time when gaming was really beginning to pick up the pace - who was on the heftier side (and still am really!), I loved swimming and bike-riding! How do kids not know how to ride a bike or swim!? Don't schools send children for swimming lessons any more? That's like... the things you just do as a kid. They are just natural things that just happen when you're growing up.

And as much as people will want to blame technology for this, the media is just as bad. Day after day we get constant scaremongering of children being targeted for abduction, teenage street crime, rapes, the whole kibosh of how it's not safe for kids to go out and play anymore, it's crazy. Parents are constantly reminded that the moment your child steps out of the house, EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD THAT IS BAD COULD HAPPEN - and I imagine that's definitely making a big impact as to why kids aren't playing outside more these days.