Limiting screen time can lead to better cognition in children, says study

Adjust Comment Print

Walsh and the team analyzed data coming from 4,520 children from 20 locations in the US the experts also tested the kids' cognitive skills, adjusting the results for puberty development, household income, and more factors that might have the ability to affect the kids' performance.

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). For kids aged 8 to 11 years, the guidelines recommend at least 60 minutes of physical activity, no more than two hours of recreational screen time, and nine to 11 hours of nighttime sleep per day.

"Evidence suggests that good sleep and physical activity are associated with improved academic performance, while physical activity is also linked to better reaction time, attention, memory, and inhibition", said Walsh".

"Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activities". Notably, more studies are required to confirm if and how exactly too much screen time can hurt children's cognition.

For the goal of the study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, the researchers surveyed more than 4,500 American children aged between 8 and 11 years.

Researchers kept in mind other factors that may have influenced the results such as the net household income, race and ethnicity, the body max index and other useful indicators, but they can not claim that the study is completely accurate. Researchers used The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth, which were released in 2016, as a benchmark.

According to the findings, getting enough sleep is also key.

For sleep and exercise, the recommendations align with those of the World Health Organization, but Canada is the first country to propose limits for time spent in front of a back-lit screen.

Parents who possess the courage to separate their children from their smartphones may be helping their kids' brainpower, a new study suggests.

In the study, children who met those guidelines were more likely to score well on tests, and showed positive mental development.

A Canadian research team looked at data from 4,500 USA children ages 8 to 11 and compared the kids' self-reported screen use to their performance on a test that measures markers of brain development. They note that physical activity remains the most important behaviour for physical health outcomes, and there is no indication that it negatively affects cognition. "In the case of evening screen use, this displacement may also be compounded by impairment of sleep quality", Dr Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, from the University of Illinois, USA, told the Daily Mail. The amount of recommended screen time depends on the age of the child.