Hey everyone!

This is my fourth and final round for this cycle. For those of you who don't know, my question is...

How can a student lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle?

In this round, I will be focusing mainly on summing up my research in-depth; so, for my metamorphosis, I can give a briefer answer. 

So, let's get started!

Academics

Canada

In our school district, kids are placed in elementary school at age six and are in this school from kindergarten to grade five. Then, there is middle school from grade six to eight. However, there are many districts in Canada that do not have a middle school. Then, students go to high school from grade nine to twelve. After high school, it is up to the student if they would like to continue their education.

As for workload, I cited my survey in order to obtain information. So, I found that the majority (about 60%) of Canadian Butterfly Effect members who took my survey spend about 3-5 hours on homework. This is above the recommended average of 2 hours a night. However, this recommendation has not been updated since 1994 which was 25 years ago! Many of you commented on my first round of research that it is quite ridiculous that this number is so old and I agree. It is time for this number to be updated. (1)(2)

Kenya

Most Kenyan students take nine classes, but some can take up to 10. Students are put into either primary school or high school. Primary school goes up to class 8. Then, you go into a high school where you study for 4 years. Students are graded on a twelve point scale, but it is extremely difficult to receive 12/12. Again, I have an in-depth version of the Kenyan grading system on my first round of research. (3)

All of the Kenyan Butterfly Effects members who took my quiz stated that they spend between 1 and 3 hours doing homework. However, Bruce (one of the B-Effect members I messaged) told me that it really does vary. For example, if all of his teachers decide to assign homework he must work much longer to finish or he may face punishment the next day. (1)

Physical Health

Canada

The physical health of youth is becoming a problem in Canada. It is reported that only 12% of Canadian children are meeting Health Canada's physical activity guideline which states children considered "school-aged" should get at least 90 minutes of exercise every day. (4)(5)

Why?

Well, there is a multitude of reasons; however, I think it is interesting to take a look at my survey once more:

Almost half of Canadian Butterfly Effect members who took part in my survey recorded that they believe school affects their physical health negatively. This mindset may come from the idea that taking care of our physical health, takes time away from our academics. However, studies also show that physical activity aids greatly in academic success - an idea I will explain in the 'Mental Health' section of this post. (1)

Kenya

 It is in this section where I began to see some contrast between the lives of Kenyan and Canadian students. 0% of Kenyan Butterfly Effects members who took my quiz stated that they believe school affects their physical health negatively. Like I brought up in my second round of research, a study in urban Kenya found that "the mean daily time spent in light physical activity was 463 minutes; mean daily time spent in moderate physical activity was 32 minutes; and mean daily time spent in vigorous physical activity was only 4 minutes." (1)(6)

Evidently, this is much different than Canadian statistics! Dorcas helped me out by letting me know that at her school, students have exercise classes once per week; however, it is not mandatory. Also, everyone is free to participate in any sports activities.

Mental Health 

Canada

Mental health is also an issue many Canadian students are facing. The Mental Health Commission of Canada has found that between 15% and 25 % of Canadian youth suffer from at least one mental health illness or problem which is...a lot. I gave a few suggestions on how to balance mental health - the first one is making sure your physical health is also a priority. The endorphins your body releases while exercising are extremely beneficial for your mental health. (7)(8)

Almost half of Canadian Butterfly Effect members who took my survey said they do believe that school affects their mental health negatively. This is an issue that I find interesting - I may base my next cycle on this topic. We shall see! (1)

Kenya

 So far, no one I have contacted has gotten back to me about the questions I have, so I still don't have much information to show about mental health in Kenyan schools. However, 100% of Canadian Butterfly Effect members who took my survey said they do not believe school affects their mental health negatively which is an astounding statistic. (1)

So?

So, what does ALL this information mean? How do I balance everything? Unfortunately, there isn't only one answer. Your priorities, areas that need balancing, and strengths differ from person to person and may change over time. However, I believe it is vital to not prioritize one aspect extremely more than another. Knowing that each aspect is vital in leading a balanced life. After reading this post, ask yourself: Do I relate to any of the information shown? Am I spending too much time studying? Not enough time exercising? Do I need to take a break for my mental health? We are all developing and changing; but, sometimes we need to slow down and take the time to think about how we can improve as individuals. I hope my research gave some clarity into your own life and the lives of others. I know that personally, this cycle has allowed me to grow significantly and I will explain more in my next post - the metamorphosis!

Sources:

1. https://www.pa-mojabutterfly.c...ys/school-and-health 

2. https://www.theglobeandmail.co...ework/article570657/ 

3. https://www.advance-africa.com...-grading-system.html 

4. https://runningmagazine.ca/hea...ing-enough-exercise/

5. https://www.heartandstroke.ca/...B8D64B272509B0746EE9

6. https://www.activehealthykids....d-long-form-2016.pdf

7. https://www.ctf-fce.ca/en/Page...s/Mental-Health.aspx

8. https://blog.collegevine.com/b...alth-in-high-school/

I hope you all learned something new from my research and enjoyed reading. Please feel free to leave any questions or comments. Thank you for reading!

Original Post

Hi Heeva!

I really enjoy reading your work, it's not to long or short and its's organised very well.  It's interesting to read how much exercise i should be getting and comparing it to what i actually do.  As well as the fact that almost half the Canadian butterfly effecters who took the survey said they did believe school negatively effects or mental health, which i too believe, but i just think it's so sad.  We are so focused on our future's that we don't take a moment to take care of ourselves in the present.  We say things like "it will all be worth it in the end" but i just don't get what is so great about the end and why we want to get there so fast, jeopardizing us in the now.

Anywho

I have really enjoyed your rounds of research and look forward to reading your metamorphosis and how you will conclude all the information you have gathered!

Catherine

Hi Heeva!

I really think that was such a good way to end your research! For me personally, I've found your posts very interesting and intriguing to read. It's honestly kind of sucks that school does impact our physical health negatively; PE becomes optional after grade ten, which makes sense.  There are more important classes that we have to take for university and I think that people aren't taking PE because they don't have an extra elective, it's all courses for university. And then we get a lot of homework after school, which leads to minimal time to exercise or play sports then. I still do some extracurricular sports, but I often find that during that time, I find myself thinking about homework and school, like I'll plan out in my head what homework I'll do when I get home and what order and whatnot. I've noticed that it can often distract me from the practice or game, so I try to not think about it, but it can be hard to not.  I really wonder how problems like these vary around the world though. 

Overall, great work!

Hi Heeva! 

This was an awesome post. Making a survey to contrast and compare the student lives of Canadian Butterfly Effect Members and Kenyan Butterfly Effect Members is a very clever idea! I noticed that in the homework portion, on average, both countries have quite a lot of homework to complete. Which brings me to the next point of the physical health in Canada. I completely understand how one can note that their academics have taken over, and they already have time to exercise! Unless you're dedicated to a mandatory team or club, chances are working out by your own regulations is quite difficult to follow! Take myself as an example. I swam competitively throughout my entire childhood, and stopped in the 7th grade. I managed to workout by myself up to the end of the ninth grade. However, as classes got harder and the courses I took became heavier, I hardly had the chance to exercise. Now, it is quite rare to find me in a gym as I am stressed for all my assignments due! Back to the point, I really liked how you focused on different factors throughout this round. I'm very excited to read your metamorphosis! 

Great job Heeva 

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