GRE Argument Essay 129
The following appeared in a newspaper article published in the country of Corpora.
“Twenty years ago, one half of all citizens in Corpora met the standards for adequate physical fitness as then defined by the national advisory board on physical fitness. Today, the board says that only one quarter of all citizens are adequately fit and suggests that spending too much time using computers may be the reason. But since overall fitness levels are highest in regions of Corpora where levels of computer ownership are also highest, it is clear that using computers has not made citizens less physically fit. Instead, as shown by this year’s unusually low expenditures on fitness-related products and services, the recent decline in the economy is most likely the cause, and fitness levels will improve when the economy does.”
The health standards in the country of Corpora are falling, as per a newspaper article. According to the article, twenty years back where one half of the citizens met the standards set by the national advisory board, today the number has fallen to one quarter of the citizens. The writer argues that spending too much time on computers can not be the cause contrary to what the board suggests. The author cites example of regions of Corpora where fitness levels are highest in spite of the highest ownership of computers.
On careful thinking, there appear a number of reasons to reject this argument. Firstly, there has been no information about the criteria set by the national advisory board of Corpora, to judge the fitness level of the citizens. It has not been mentioned if there has been any change in the criteria and set standards in the last twenty years. This change is a must, keeping in view the present lifestyle, food habits, medical supplements and availability of time.
Whether usage of computers is responsible or not, can be commented upon only after a more thoroughly conducted survey. Similarly, without developing an insight into other possibilities, it would be impulsive to conclude that fall in economy and hence lack of fitness related products is responsible for the declining physical fitness of the citizens. In continuation, the physical fitness standards may have fallen to one quarter due to high standards set by the board. The deterioration in fitness level may be due to alarming factors like change in attitude, busy schedule, less emphasis on sports at primary level, some epidemic or stress because of rising competition in every field.
Secondly, the regions of Corpora which show high levels of fitness along with high levels of computer ownership, do not really indicate anything to support the author’s view. It is possible that these regions have economically more well off residents and therefore more possessors of computers. It is also likely that there are more software companies in these regions as compared to others. Another reason for more computers in these regions can be possibly attributed to more population.
Thirdly, it may be equally true that these regions of high computer ownership have more health oriented citizens due to one or the other reason. Since no details of the usage of computers in these areas are given, it cannot be concluded that excessive use of computers have no role to play in the fall of fitness levels.
Last but not the least, the decline in a year’s economy cannot be entirely responsible for the fall in levels of physical fitness. Good physical health and consciousness towards health cannot fade away in merely a year. Moreover, a year’s poor economy and low expenditure on fitness related products can at the most deprive the citizens of the latest equipments. It cannot deteriorate the health standards so sharply.
Conclusively, the argument given by the author in his newspaper article is refuted, as it is not based on comprehensive statistical data but on assumptions.