Video Games Make A Convenient Scapegoat For Weak Students

Video Games Make A Convenient Scapegoat For Weak Students

A recent study by the Chinese Ministry of Education has found that the majority of China’s college student population is physically frail. But what is the reason behind the fact that students are physically inadequate? Well, you’ve probably guessed it, the blame is on video games.

That’s right, Chinese media and in part the MoE is saying that Chinese college students spend too much time studying and playing online games rather than exercising. To alleviate the problem, the MoE has set new regulations requiring students to score at least 50 per cent or higher in physical education classes in order to graduate.

In a 2010 study, researchers found the Chinese college student was physically “weaker” than years past. In 2005, it was found that Chinese city males aged 19-22 would jump 0.23 metres shorter than their country counterparts.

Researchers and media say that the internet culture could be one of the reasons for Chinese students being “frailer” now. Students have supposedly become more introverted, preferring indoor activities such as playing online games.

While there may (MAY) be merit to all of this, the contrary is also true. In reality changes in diet and the environment affect physical growth just as much as being “introverted”. With China growing ever more affluent, the opposite is becoming true: Chinese people are getting bigger! In fact, in a report last year, the People’s Liberation Army Daily reported that Chinese soldiers were getting too big for their tanks!

The same thing is happening in the US, where people are getting too big because of rising rates of obesity and the like, but in China it’s due to nutrition. For example, here’s Xiao Hao, who became internet famous in 2011 for weighing 62kg at only four years old (photo via Tencent):

It’s also been found that Chinese people living in many of China’s megacities are becoming obese at alarming rates. Most of China’s universities are found in the cities. The prestigious Peking, Tsinghua, and Renmin Universities are all found within Beijing’s city proper.

Changing lifestyles and diet are probably the real reason for the change in physicality. In a country where McDonalds and KFC deliver, it’s a miracle I haven’t turned into a giant slug, then again…I’ve always been a big Chinese person.

调查称大学生体质逐年下降 打网游多于运动 [He-Online via People’s Daily]
我军官兵体格发生较大变化 [Chinese People’s Liberation Army Daily]
62 million people in China obese, sparking fears of ‘alarming’ financial burden [SCMP]
教育部新规定:大学生体质不达标不发毕业证 [CCTV via Sina]

Picture: Vitchanan Photography/Shutterstock


  • Well I guess sitting around all day doing very minimal exercise will take it’s toll. Not eating healthy will also screw with you. Did any of us eat properly in our teens and young adult life (gourmet pizza does not count)?? So yes gaming constantly everyday all day, with very little breaks or exercise in between will have an effect on your physical fitness and overall health. The same goes with sitting in an office job all day – similar posture, similar environment (sitting around staring at a computer screen all day) So I’d say they may be on to something.

  • Video Games Make A Convenient Scapegoat For Weak Students

    I clicked this thinking it was an article how weak students who got bad grades where blaming Video Games.

  • As much as I am an advocate for video games (Running battles with my parents and girlfriend just to play on the weekend!) there is a lot of research being done into being active alongside computer and T.V use.

    Even when individuals meet Australian Activity guidelines, they are still at risk of developing metabolic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, etc. if they are sitting for most of the day. The phenomenon is referred to as ‘Active Couch Potato’ where person is still physically active whilst still not moving around for the day.

    Some articles even advocated getting up and moving every ten minutes to ensure the metabolism isn’t completely at resting levels and helps stop excess glucose becoming adipose tissue:

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