More than 2 hours in front of a screen causes psychological problems in kids

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Does your child spend more than two hours a day watching television or playing on a computer? If so then they may be more likely to experience psychological problems than children who spend less time in front of a screen according to the results of a new study reports WebMD.

More than 1000 children aged between 10 and 11 took part in the study carried out by researchers at the University of Bristol in England UK.

The study revealed that those that spent more than a couple of hours a day watching television, playing on the computer, or a combination of both, were more likely to report having problems with friends and to say they felt unhappy.

As part of the study, the children had to wear accelerometers for a week which recorded their activity every 10 seconds whilst they were awake.

A questionnaire was also used to collect other data such as how much time they spent using the television or computer for activities that wasn’t connected to homework, and also about how they were feeling.

The well known “Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire” was used to assess the kids’ psychological well being.

The answers produced a score that indicated whether or not the youngster was likely to have a problem, study researcher Angie S. Page, PhD, of the University of Bristol apparently told WebMD in an email.

Page also told WebMD that there was no evidence that sedentary time itself (which is basically time spent not engaging in any movement) is related to a negative psychological well being, it would appear that it’s all about what the kids are doing in that time, for example, if they spend hours sitting in front of a screen they are more likely to experience problems no matter how active they are the rest of the time.

Now a parent whose child is pretty active may not be too worried about the amount of time they spend on their computer or in front of the TV but perhaps they should.

Although children who were more active and who spent more than two hours in front of a screen did marginally better than those who were less active and spent the same time in front of a screen, this research suggests that physical activity isn’t going to fully make up for it.

The bottom line is that if you’re kids are glued to the box or engrossed in a computer game for more than a couple of hours a day, it is simply not good for their mental health.

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