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Youngsters’ exhaustion on the rise

Children and youngsters are showing more symptoms of fatigue, with hectic lives leading to early burn-out. Researchers are now finding exhaustion even among primary school children.

Telinevoimistelija tekee permannolla spagaatin.
Demanding hobbies can become a stressful burden. Image: Mika Kanerva

Many youngsters these days are overwhelmed by trying to juggle demanding hobbies, long school hours and homework, as well as friends.

Today's taxing working environments are making great demands on both adults and youngsters in daily life. According to Katariina Salmela-Aro, professor of psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, adults' exhaustion is also passed onto children. 

Researchers have also found that shortened sleeping hours are taking a toll on children's well-being.

Exhaustion at a young age is all the more worrying, as this can lead to burn-out as an adult.

Professor Salmela-Aro says that fatigue in high school is connected with students lowering their aims for further education, and taking more years off between the end of school and higher education. Burnt-out students also face greater risk of marginalisation later on.

Keeping a check on hobbies

At Mankkaan high school in Espoo, many students enjoy their extracurricular activities. However, the school's physical education teacher Jussi Pekkarinen cautions youths and their families not to give hobbies too great a role, and not to allow things to accelerate out of control.

Pakkarinen echoes researchers’ recommendations that kids should get enough sleep and eat well. Also, families should not allow school studies to suffer from hobbies.

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