International ranking finds Czech kids among most glued to their screens

In a country where opportunities for physical activity are ample, 70 percent of Czech kids spend too much screen time. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 08.11.2022 11:30:00 (updated on 08.11.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

Children living in the Czech Republic have ample access to physical activities in a country that prides itself on its athletic traditions: Sokol, hiking clubs, and a network of afterschool youth centers (in Czech Dům dětí a mládeže) make Czechia a haven for health nuts.

Despite the wealth of opportunities to keep kids moving, a newly released international comparison found that while Czechia ranked among the top ten countries for physical activities, its children spend too much time in front of screens, reports ČTK.

The survey of 57 countries from six continents, published in a report by the international non-profit organization Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance, represents the largest international comparison of its kind to date. Almost 700 scientists took part in evaluating the data across individual countries based on ten indicators that influence children's physical activity and lifestyle.

Researchers looked at, among other things, transport to school, sedentary behavior, sleep habits, as well as family and school backgrounds for physical activity and public policy.

Research coordinator Aleš Gába from the Faculty of Physical Culture of Palacký University (FTK UP), which analyzed data on Czech children from 2018 and 2019, told ČTK:

"Czech children have suitable exposure to physical activity, whether it is in the family, at school, or in their general environment. Thanks to organized physical activity and sports and active attendance at school, the Czech Republic has fared relatively well in an international comparison.”

Gába went on to say that despite this fact, almost half of the children in Czechia don’t comply with the recommendations for physical activity, and that 70 percent of children and adolescents spend more screen time than recommended.

"Boys are the worst, with four out of five spending more than two hours in front of the screen per day," he added.

Compared to the previous report, which evaluated data from 2013 to 2017, the number of physically active children has decreased; experts largely blame the pandemic for the decline.

In most of the participating countries, including the Czech Republic, however, data from before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic was evaluated.

Czech doctors agree that screens are one of the biggest threats to children's (and their parent's) health today, negatively impacting kids' bodies, especially their weight, and eyesight. No more than 2 hours a day of screen time is recommended by WHO.

The Active Healthy Kids alliance has tips for getting kids and their families moving here.

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