A Critical Analysis of Television Viewing and Physical Activity of Adolescents

In: Explorations of Childhood

Adolescents constitute a fifth of the world’s population. Adolescents have twenty-four hours media access and, being the most vulnerable, prefer watching television to any kind of physical activity. Physical activity plays an imperative role in the overall development of adolescents. Television viewing for long hours leads to decreased physical activity. The objectives of the study were to examine television use by adolescents for the purpose of entertainment and information in government and private schools as well as the association between television viewing and physical activity of adolescents. The study was done on a sample size of 400 adolescents aged 12-19 years studying in government and private schools in the city of Chandigarh. 200 male and 200 female adolescents were divided into two age groups, i.e. 12-15 and 16-19 years. The data was collected by way of a survey method using a self–constructed questionnaire. Statistical analysis was done on SPSS using tools like chi-square test, central tendency (mean); dispersion (standard deviation) and paired t- test to show the results on the basis of hours divided in four categories, i.e. very often (4 or more hours a day), quite often (2-4), seldom (0-2) and never (0). Results from the findings indicate that adolescents were mainly watching television for an entertainment purpose. Adolescents of 12-15 years were watching less television than 16-19 years adolescents. It was further revealed that private school adolescents in the age group of 12-15 years were more involved in physical activity. However, as age progresses difference fade out. It goes without saying that the role of media is going to increase manifold in the years to come, therefore, the paper through review of literature also addresses the need of teaching media literacy to adolescents so that they become critical consumers of media and media messages.