WTAP @ 5 To Your Health Report: Kids And Electronic Devices

By: Michael Jones
By: Michael Jones

Getting your kids out and away from the TV or computer might be doing more for them than just getting them some physical activity.

Michael Jones explains in today's Health Minute.

According to a new study published in the Journal Pediatrics, researchers in the UK found children who spent a lot of time in front of the TV and computer monitors had more psychological difficulties than kids who weren't in front of these devices.

Scientists from the University of Bristol's School for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences, looked at one-thousand children, ages 10 to 11 years old, and noted the time they spent on recreational activities, including both sedentary time and time spent on moderate to vigorous activities.

The youngsters also completed a questionnaire that asked them about their strengths and difficulties. The questions were designed to assess their psychological well being.

The data found children who looked at television or computer screens for more than two hours had higher psychological difficulty scores, regardless of how much time the children participated in physical activity.

However, kids who spent more time on sedentary activities, like homework, or working on a hobby, but not in front of a screen, had better psychological scores overall. Those with more physical activity fared better in certain psychological areas, including emotional problems and issues with school mates, but did not do as well in areas related to conduct and behavior, including hyperactivity.

The study authors concluded that the less time a child spends in front of an electronic screen, the better.

For Today's Health Minute, I'm Michael Jones.

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