Are children spending more time on their smartphones than doing sport? A new survey sheds light on the harmful effects technology is having on kids’ health

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A new survey conducted by the Youth Sports Trust has revealed the extent of how children’s fitness may be taking a backseat to technology.

Nearly a quarter of the poll of 1,000 five to 16 year-olds said they viewed playing computer games with friends as a form of exercise. Conducted by the Leicestershire-based charity to shed light on children’s attitudes to sport as part of its report on the future of sport in schools, the results demonstrated the growing challenge that digital technology poses for a more active and healthier next generation.

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A third also stated that they spoke to their friends more on social media than in person. According to the report - ‘The Class of 2035: promoting a brighter and more active future for the youth of tomorrow,’ “Policymakers can feel nostalgic for a time before the challenges new connected technologies have brought in engaging young people, or they can harness these technologies to their advantage.

“It will also become increasingly imperative for every child to have access to new technology in school and greater efforts made to ensure that there is little division among the tech capabilities of young people.

“Furthermore, in order to get children active from a young age, a more holistic approach to PE is needed, one which integrates technology and the delivery of a seamless, intuitive and digitally enhanced form of physical activity.”

By interweaving the use of handheld devices into PE lessons, it is hoped that these modern day challenges can be turned into opportunities for ensuring children become more interested in sport on a more interactive basis.

For fitness tips on how to get young people more interested into sport, check out our expert-approved recommendations for both  children  and  teenagers .

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