Published on September 11, 2013 at 2:49 AM
Although teens did comment on physical benefits of exercise like flexibility and endurance, they also perceived elements like leadership and team skills development, positive emotional impact, and character development to be just as beneficial. The study also found that these responses were equally common among boys and girls.
Gavin, who is also Director of the Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies at Concordia, says he was surprised to find that the teens were so aware of the personal growth benefits associated with physical activity. He feels that the news about the teens' sophisticated understanding of physical activities should be a wakeup call to those who market exercise based solely on looks. "It's a hugely important finding because the marketing of exercise to both adolescents and adults has been largely around how it makes you look better, helps you lose weight," he says.
Also interesting was teens' advice when asked what suggestions they would have for their physical education instructors. "The predominant response was 'we need more variety, choice, and flexibility,'" says Gavin, adding that many said they were on the lookout for new ways to interest themselves in physical activity. "If physical education in the school system looks like running around a gym and doing calisthenics, or playing certain games they've been playing since grade school, then it may not have the appeal or impact they are looking for," says Gavin.
Source: Concordia University