How to empower teenagers in health issues: a practical guide for teachers
March 28, 2022, 10 a.m.
Health and Education are intrinsically related: improvements in education produce better health outcomes and vice versa. This is one of the focus of SEEDS (https://seedsmakeathons.com/), a project done by teenagers for teenagers based on citizen science to create new experiments for healthy lifestyles. It aims to empower teenagers to live healthy lifestyles and to help them explore how important and exciting science is.
Now SEEDS published a practical guide for teachers and educators providing information on four issues (healthy snacks, physical activity, sedentary behavior and screen time) of primary importance in the lives of teenagers. It also proposes some practical tips to apply in the daily practice to help teachers to empower their students.
Teenager’s bodies are going through many physical changes that need to be supported by healthy behavior and balanced diet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), teenagers establish patterns of behavior – for instance, related to diet, physical activity, substance use, and sexual activity – that can protect their health and the health of others around them, or put their health at risk now and in the future. More often than not teenagers tend to underestimate the long-term consequences on their health of their present behaviors.
Sleep, nutrition, substances and addictions, mental health are just some of the issues on which to focus attention. Teachers and educators are an important part of teenagers' lives both because they spend a lot of time with them and because of their role as a reliable guide and point of reference. In addition to being witnesses to the life of their students, they can also help them to become more aware on important issues and influence their behavior. Awareness is the first step towards more responsible choices. This guide, available in six languages, is a contribution to this important issue: