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A report released by the Cancer Council in partnership with the Heart Foundation reveals that Australian teens are spending way too much time in front of screens.
The latest version of the National Secondary Students' Diet and Activity Survey found that more than 55 per cent of Aussie students had at least three televisions in the home, with 40 per cent having direct access to video games in their bedrooms. This proliferation of screens has led 77 per cent of Australian teenagers to spend more than two hours a day using electronic devices.
Life in Front of the Screen
While screen time has risen since the previous version of the report was released in 2011, physical activity levels have marginally risen. However, chair of the Cancer Council's Public Health Committee, Craig Sinclair, said any modest benefit afforded by the increases have been nullified by the rise in screen time.
"That's [screen time of 2+ hours per day] increased from 71 per cent in 2010 to 77 per cent in 2013", Mr. Sinclair said. “But still the vast majority of adolescents, as much as 82 per cent, are not engaging in more than 60 minutes of physical activity per day".
The report found that a quarter of Australia’s male high school students were overweight or obese, with a fifth of female students falling into this category.
Mary Barry from the Heart Foundation believes the findings of the report should lead secondary schools to invest in a national physical activity strategy.
"Obesity amongst young people is a significant public health issue in Australia as overweight youth are at an increased risk of becoming overweight adults", Ms. Barry said.