Sunday. 19.05.2024

Young people have spent more time playing games on mobile devices or computers than exercising. Some of them have tried to spend less time online but failed. Also, the internet has affected their sleep.

These are the findings of a School Health Survey conducted in spring 2019 and published by the Finnish Institute for Wealth and Health (THL). About one-third of 8th and 9th grade primary school students and 1st and 2nd year high school students reported that they did not spend more than one hour per week doing leisure activity.

The corresponding share of students studying in vocational schools were 43%.

In 2019, about one in five students in 8th and 9th grade in elementary education moved at least one hour a day to breathe and increase their heart rate.

Only 15% of the students of upper secondary and vocational schools said they moved daily.

Heini Wennman, researcher at THL said that "for sports, the situation is twofold: on the one hand, the proportion of people exercising for at least one hour a day has remained the same or even slightly increased, on the other hand, the share of those with little leisure activity has increased." 

Nearly a third of 8th and 9th grade students and about a quarter of high school or vocational college students have tried to spend less time online but have failed. One in ten young people reported that they had often not eaten or slept because of the Internet. 

Girls give more time to arts

Playing games is very common among young people. About one in two boys and one in five in girls daily played games on mobile devices or computers.

At all school levels included in the study, girls said they participated weekly in arts or culture activities, more frequently than boys. Grade 8 and 9 girls (44%) and high school girls (42%) had the most common artistic or cultural activities at least weekly.

Young people spend more time playing games than exercising