Health Care

Limiting kids' screen time improves brain function

Limiting kids' screen time improves brain function”

Adding, "We found that more than two hours of recreational screen time in children was associated with poorer cognitive development".

Furthermore, the data used in the study was collected only once, not over time.

4,524 children from the ages of 8 to 11 took part from September 2016 to 2017 in the ABCD study, and the current study looked at their results.

The study was published last week in the journal "The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health".

A new study found that the average American child spends 3.6 hours a day watching TV, using a computer, or looking at their phone or tablet.

In general, health experts say parents should put a tight limit on screen time, and encourage activities that are more productive (either physically, mentally, or both).

Researchers then compared time spent on screens, sleeping, and engaged in physical activity from that study against the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines, created by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology to advise how kids should spend their time in a given day. Google has also introduced new features to limit screen time and monitor use on Android devices.

In addition to limiting screen time, the study also found that cognitive performance was improved among kids who got at least nine hours of sleep per night and one hour of physical activity every day. The children who scored best on tests for assessing language abilities, memory, executive function, attention, and processing speed met those sleep, screen time and activity benchmarks.

He continued and said that "Based on our findings, pediatricians, parents, educators, and policymakers should promote limiting recreation screen time and prioritizing healthy sleep routines during childhood and adolescence". It might not come as a surprise that researchers found almost two out of every three US kids spend more than two hours a day looking at devices. Almost 30 percent of the children didn't meet any of the recommended guidelines, just over 40 percent met one, and 25 percent met two.

Improvements in cognition were associated with each additional recommendation met, with limited screen time and sleep having the strongest correlation to improvement.

The study took place in the U.S, where children from 20 schools received cognition tests that aimed to measure their abilities.

Although there is substantial evidence for the association between physical activity and cognitive development, in this study meeting the physical activity recommendation alone showed no association with cognition.

Digital screen technology can deliver educational and enriching content, but spending too much time with that technology may also be harmful for children, this broader body of research is finding.

"Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep".

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