I am writing in response to Japreet Lehal’s column, “Revamp activity standards,” (The Leader, July 26).
I believe that what Mr. Lehal wrote is definitely pointing to a problem in our society. Many youngsters (and the not-so-young, too) have an incredibly sedentary and inactive lifestyle. Mr. Lehal suggests that the provincial government “work on implementing physical education strategies.” He goes on to suggest that it needs to be redressed by implementing, “especially in schools,” various programs.
I understand that teachers have a great impact on their students and that such programs could be helpful, however I also believe that teachers and the education system cannot be targeted as the solution to fix society’s shortcomings.
Youngsters can no longer play outside freely due to the increase in violence. Parents work more hours and for many this is just to maintain the lifestyle that they aspire to. It requires a certain socio-economic level to afford the various extra-curricular programs to encourage physical activity in youngsters.
Also, many parents today come from a generation where a meal comes ready-made with little knowledge of the ingredients in it. Physical activity and healthy eating habits can be introduced in schools, but it cannot be expected that schools will fix what is being taught and modelled at home.
Government should look closely at advertising on television, on buses, etc., since this is where many youngsters model their behaviour. For example, some publicity convinces youngsters that fruits and vegetables must have a dip to be eaten, or that some drinks are necessary to be happy, and so on.
Changing our society’s culture today will require more than adding another load onto school programs. It requires a concerted effort on the part of government and various corporate businesses to market to youngsters a healthier lifestyle.