I guess the news that children are not as strong as they used to be is not all that surprising. At some point the better access to vitamins, protein sources, etcetera runs into the generally sluggish lifestyle that many children live. My little one gets out playing a lot, but he will also spend time at the Lego Games website when he gets a chance. His school starts late in the morning, so fortunately he can get the sedentary activities out of the way in the morning, and play outside when he gets home from school.
This study is from England, but I am sure it applies to most of the advanced western countries. Ht NC.
Denis Campbell, The Guardian, 21 May 2011.
Children are becoming weaker, less muscular and unable to do physical tasks that previous generations found simple, research has revealed.
As a generation dedicated to online pursuits grows up, 10-year-olds can do fewer sit-ups and are less able to hang from wall bars in a gym. Arm strength has declined in that age group, as has their ability to grip an object firmly.
The findings, published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica, have led to fresh concern about the impact on children's health caused by the shift away from outdoor activities.
Academics led by Dr Gavin Sandercock, a children's fitness expert at Essex University, studied how strong a group of 315 Essex 10-year-olds in 2008 were compared with 309 children the same age in 1998. They found that:
1. The number of sit-ups 10-year-olds can do declined by 27.1% between 1998 and 2008
2. Arm strength fell by 26% and grip strength by 7%
3. While one in 20 children in 1998 could not hold their own weight when hanging from wall bars, one in 10 could not do so in 2008.