STANDING classes and more active recreation time after school are being touted as ways to get teenagers moving more to fend off physical and social issues.
A new Deakin University report shows Australian teenagers are sitting for more than two-thirds of the day between school classes, homework and television or playing video game before bed - and most were driven to and from school.
Non-traditional, physical programs are how YMCA Ballarat aims to combat the sitting trend in young people. YMCA Ballarat and Grampians community youth engagement director Stacey Oliver said the focus was on just moving and the casual nature of Rock Up Netball, Drop-In Basketball and Teen Skate helped encourage this.
"Their commitments change week-to-week with study or picking up an extra shift at work...Weekly or term fees can be a bit of a barrier for some, so these are on a pay-per-session or free," Ms Oliver said.
"We want to be giving young people the opportunity to do more physical activity in a fun, safe environment. There is also the social component that goes with that, being part of a team.
It's a great opportunity to support one another - we found that with skating where ones who were more competent would help their friends.
The study, published this week, tracked almost 400 students in Victorian secondary schools with wearable devices to measure movement and differentiate between sitting, standing and lying.
No Ballarat students were involved in the research but the report's lead author Lauren Arundell hoped the data would inform times of the day when interventions were needed to get teenagers up and moving more.
"Our data suggests that the school timetable is an important contributor to adolescent sitting patterns," Dr Arundell said.
"The introduction of standing or active class lessons, where students are encouraged to stand and move around while completing their work, can be an effective way of getting students to sit less and move more at school.
"But we also need to look at ways to make homework and recreation time less sedentary as teenagers spend almost three-quarters of the evening period between 6pm and 10pm sitting."
The research from Deakin's Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition found teenagers sat for 75 per cent of their class time while about 73 per cent of their time in the evening was spent sitting. Dr Arundell said this was exacerbated by use of personal electronic devices.
Dr Arundell's past studies have also shown teenagers who sit less and move more have better academic outcomes.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.