SEOUL, Dec. 27 (Korea Bizwire) — Children and teenagers in South Korea are suffering from sleep deprivation, and their level of happiness is also the lowest among other developed countries.
According to a report released Tuesday by Statistics Korea, the average daily sleep time for children and teenagers was 7.3 hours as of last year.
Specifically, high school students slept an average of 6.1 hours, compared to 7.4 hours for middle school students, and 8.7 hours for students in elementary school, with an obvious trend of sleep decreasing as students get older.
The number of students exercising regularly reached 91.2 percent for fourth to sixth graders in elementary school, but only 76 percent for middle school students and 65.1 percent for high school students.
Furthermore, the study also showed high academic stress among children in South Korea.
Some 33.8 percent of children and teenagers said they sometimes or often think they want to die, with academic related issues being the biggest reason for 37.2 percent of this total.
Among elementary school students, 85.2 percent said they enjoyed going to school, but the percentage dropped as students became older.
While 77.2 percent of middle school students had fun at school, only 69.3 percent in high school enjoyed going to school.
In addition to regular classes, 41.4 percent of elementary students studied more than three hours a day on weekdays.
Some 46.1 percent of middle school students and 48.6 percent of high school students studied an average of three hours a day outside the school.
On the other hand, only 27.3 percent of high school students spent more than three hours a day for themselves on weekdays.
Some 36.6 percent of middle school students and 45.3 percent of elementary school students spent an average of three hours to themselves, having fun.
The average score of Korean children and teenagers’ satisfaction with their lives was 6.6 points as of 2018, which was the lowest compared to other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members and major European countries.
Spain scored the highest with 8.1 points, while 27 other countries, excluding South Korea, averaged 7.6 points. Only Turkey scored as low as South Korea with 6.6 points.
Yoo Min-sang, an associate researcher at the National Youth Policy Institute, said, “The current state of the quality of life for children and teenagers in South Korea still shows the characteristic of delaying happiness for the sake of the future rather than now,” and suggested that changes should be made so that children and teenagers can enjoy their current lives.
D. M. Park (firstname.lastname@example.org)