According to a study in the journal Pediatrics, children who spend longer than two hours in front of a computer or television screen are more likely to suffer psychological difficulties, regardless of how physically active they are.
The study of over a 1,013 children aged between 10 and 11, measured the time children spent in front of a screen as well as their psychological well being. In addition, an activity monitor recorded both children’s sedentary time and moderate physical activity.
Results showed that more than two hours per day of both television viewing and recreational computer use were related to higher psychological difficulty scores, regardless of how much time the children spent on physical activity.
Lead author Dr Angie Page explains that “whilst low levels of screen viewing may not be problematic, we cannot rely on physical activity to ‘compensate’ for long hours of screen viewing.”
“Watching TV or playing computer games for more than two hours a day is related to greater psychological difficulties irrespective of how active children are,” she adds.
Pediatrics – October 11, 2010;Epub.