Limiting children's screen time linked to better cognition, study says

29 September, 2018, 10:27 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • A poll conducted for Common Sense Media a nonprofit focused on helping children parents teachers and policymakers negotiate media and technology explores families and technology addiction

It's interesting to note that even children who do not regularly exercise or achieve the recommended amount of sleep but kept their screen time down to a maximum of two hours, still performed 4% better than average.

Researchers discovered, by analysing United States children's data for eight to 11-year-old, the more of the recommendations a child fulfilled, the better their cognition.

Too little sleep and excess screen time were clearly linked to a drop off in cognitive skills, such as language ability, memory, and task completion, they reported in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Researchers said that parents should try to limit their offspring's recreational screen time, including periods playing video games, using social media and watching television.

A new study published by Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, examined 4,500 USA children aged between eight and 11 to determine how screen time affects their cognitive development.

It found that children who each day had less than two hours of recreational screen time, got nine to 11 hours of sleep, and did at least one hour of physical activity performed better than who did none of these.

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"We need to pay attention to how long we are on the screens for, " Jeremy Walsh, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia and the lead author of the study, said.

According to a new study, researchers found better mental ability among children - in the 8-11 age group - who spent less than two hours a day using screen devices for fun.

Nearly 30% of the children didn't meet the recommendations, more than 40% met one, a quarter met two, and only 5% of the children met all three guidelines. Nevertheless, the findings suggest that "pediatricians, parents, educators, and policymakers should promote limiting recreational screen time and prioritizing healthy sleep routines throughout childhood and adolescence", Dr. Walsh said. That's what the researchers found when they compared guideline adherence against performance on brain exercises ("cognition").

In contrast to earlier research, lack of exercise did not correlate with poorer performance on the cognition tests.

Half the kids were getting enough sleep, 37 per cent remained within the screen-time limits, and only 18 per cent met the physical activity recommendation.

Other organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics have guidelines in place to help with the management of children's screen time.

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