Dear KES Family:
Today is “Star Wars” day. I guess the official Jedi greeting of “May the Force be with you” coincides with May the 4th. Who knew? Only when one attends high school for many years (decades in fact) does one pick up such important cultural references. Hahaha!
Speaking of common knowledge, recent scientific studies have concluded what we have intuitively known to be true. Myopia in youth globally is accelerating at alarming rates. The statistics are staggering. In the USA the number has doubled in the last 30 years. In the UK 50% of university students are myopic. The primary reason is that children are spending more time indoors than ever before and looking at screens of one size or another. Spending 14 daylight hours a week outside will reduce the chances of myopia by 30%. Lots of screen time bad:( Outdoor activity good:).
I think we have all been aware that obesity and diabetes rates in today’s youth are rising at alarming rates, but it was fascinating to watch the CBC stories this week on the correlation between exercise and mental health. The symptoms of depression and anxiety are greatly reduced with exercise. The recommendation is for daily exercise. 180 minutes of physical activity a week can have significant results.
When I was growing up, my mother would kick us out of the house and tell us to “go out and play”. It is probably the best medical advice one can give children. We are so fortunate at KES to have activity built right into our daily lives. This includes teachers and Headmasters. Running around with the rugby team at the end of the day invariably improves my mood. It makes me happy – even when it is raining and muddy. Much of what we do at the School is structured, of course, but there is a significant amount of unstructured fun which occurs as well. It seems that a walk down to Baby Panda is actually good for one’s eyesight and overall well-being. Who knew?
I would be remiss if I did not mention the flip of joy I felt when I learned this week that the School Musical for next Fall is none other than “Momma Mia”. I love that show! Historically, it has not been licensed for school productions and yet we have been able to secure the rights to produce it next year. We have the vocal and musical talent to do it justice, too! For me, it is the ultimate feel-good-happy-cure-for-depression in a single evening ever.