In South Korea, arguably the world’s most connected country, doctors are prescribing horse-riding to treat teenagers who have become addicted to the internet. The government has introduced a “Shutdown Law” to prevent under-16s playing internet games between midnight and six am – but of course, web-savvy teens simply use other accounts.
Four months ago, the parents of a girl called Kim (14) were at their wits’ end over her internet addiction. She said: “I used to play with computers for seven hours a day, I couldn’t stop. I even used to play all night, when my mother went away overnight.” But now she is getting her life back under control thanks to riding lessons.
In South Korea, where almost two-thirds of the population own a smartphone, the government estimates that about 10% of young people between 10 and 19 are internet addicts. That’s around 680,000 youngsters.
Yoosook Joung, Doctor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said: “It is an enormously fun activity, but it is not just a simple physical sport because it involves another living thing, the horse. Riding is a new experience for them, because it combines physical activity with an emotional connection to an animal, which is why it helps to overcome internet addiction.”
The Korean Riding Association has two therapy centres and about 50 people attend therapy programmes there every day. The association now plans to build 30 more centres by 2022 to meet rising demand all over the country.
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Russian rumour mill suggests Putin suffering poor health | euronews, world news
- 3Slovenia becomes 11th EU nation to approve gay marriage | euronews, world news
- 4[LIVE] Germanwings passenger jet crashes in southern France, 148 people on board – authorities | euronews, world news
- 5Exclusive: CIA and Mossad are behind Boko Haram and ISIL, says Sudan president | euronews, world news
- 6International news | euronews, latest international news
- 7Indian rapist says women to blame for being sexually assaulted | euronews, world news
- 8French Alps plane crash treated as suicide and mass murder by co-pilot | euronews, world news
- 9eurovibes - a selection of Europe’s best music talent
- 10Why is Bulgaria the EU’s most unhappy country? | euronews, world news
- 11Greece’s claim for war reparations from Germany explained | euronews, world news
- 12Reaching new heights: Parents in India scale walls to ‘help students cheat’ | euronews, world news
- 13French prosecutor: Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately | euronews, world news
- 14Manufacturing jihad – Nicolas Hénin explains what he learned about ISIL | euronews, the global conversation
- 15Germanwings press conference mystery: what wasn’t he supposed to say? | euronews, world news
- 16Which EU country has the biggest gender pay gap? | euronews, world news
- 17Romania left red-faced after France-Germany map gaffe | euronews, world news
- 18How much sugar should you eat? | euronews, world news
- 19European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 20International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video