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After School Activities Help Kids Be Happier and Healthier

By: Victoria Wong

A new study by the University of South Australia and the South Australia Education Department shows that researchers found that children’s happiness improved when they participated in extracurricular activities after school, yet decreased when they spent time on social media or playing video games.

The study took data from 61,759 school students in Years 4 to 9, keeping an eye on the average number of days per week children participated in after-school activities from 3 pm to 6 pm. It showed factors of happiness, sadness, worry, engagement, perseverance, optimism, emotion regulation, and life satisfaction.

UniSA lead researcher Dr. Rosa Virgara said that the fact that kids involved in extracurricular activities were having better health and happiness was that they got up and were more active. It has been measured that sitting down and doing homework or reading has improved kids' well-being.

She said the research allowed them to know that even children who already reported feeling happy benefited from participating in extracurricular activities. Not sitting down and staring at a screen.


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