42 percent of teenagers have no time for relaxation: CWLF

By Joy Lee, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Forty-two percent of junior high school students have no leisure time due to tremendous pressure to study, the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) announced yesterday.

According to a survey by the CWLF, 72 percent of teenagers have even felt depressed due to not having leisure time in their daily lives because of heavy study loads.

The foundation said that nearly 80 percent of teenagers spend most of their summer vacations at home and 54 percent are unable to find a proper place to spend their leisure time.

Twenty-four percent of teenagers even visit Internet cafes, karaoke parlors, arcades and poolrooms regularly during summer break, the CWLF said.

During the same period, 73 percent of teenagers surf the Internet and 67 percent watch TV. The survey also showed that teenagers spend at least 3.4 hours surfing on the Internet and 2.8 hours watching TV daily during holidays.

The survey also showed that around 72 percent of parents consider studying more important than having hobbies and leisure time, and 44 percent of teenagers said that they spend their free time by themselves, without supervision.

The foundation cited one junior high school student, surnamed Lin, as saying that he has to go to more classes after school, even during summer vacation, so he can only do some exercise at home or in a nearby park during his limited leisure time.

“Some of my classmates do not know where to spend their summer vacations because their parents are always working,” Lin said, “so they can only stay home sleeping all the time.”

The CWLF said that the teen years should be used to explore the world and have fun, but that most teenagers in Taiwan prefer to stay at home and play video games or sleep.

Without outdoor activities, the foundation said, teenagers in Taiwan will start to lose the ability to enjoy their lives and will lose the use of their imaginations.

The CWLF also said that most teenagers are under significant pressure to do well at school, so they usually spend their time either in the classroom or at home studying. However, the foundation said, without proper extracurricular activities to release the pressure of studying, teenagers can easily fall into depression.

According to the CWLF, parents should not force their children to spend all their time studying. Instead, they should help in the development of habits involving regular exercise and encourage teens to participate in more outdoor activities.