Society seems to encourage watching television daily or using our electronics for entertainment. Adults and kids love staying up-to-date on the hottest shows and movies, playing online games, and seeing what their friends are up to on social media. People love to be entertained and screens are providing a lot of that entertainment today. Many parents have heard that too much screen time for kids is bad but electronics have become such an ingrained part of our society that it can sometimes be difficult to lure kids off their electronics. Recent research has again confirmed that screen time can be harmful.
U.S. News recently reported that new research published in the BMC Pediatrics journal confirms that too much screen time can be harmful. Kids who participate in sports, lessons, and socializing with friends after school are happier and healthier than kids who are using screens for entertainment after school. The research surveyed and studied 62,000 kids who ranged in age from 4 to 9 years old. The majority of kids who were on screens playing video games, watching TV, or using social media after school had lower levels of well-being. The researcher also recognized that children from lower socioeconomic status were less likely to be involved in sports, lessons, and socializing.
Research associate Rosa Virgara commented that “Screen time, where you are sitting and watching TV or playing computer games or scrolling social media for hours on end, is so detrimental because it’s sedentary and usually not engaging. I would encourage parents to try to set some limits around screen use [and] encourage children to be active either before or after using screens, or offer alternative activities such as listening to music, mindful coloring, board games or puzzles if they are after some quiet activities. Scientific evidence has found time and time again that children’s participation in sports is linked with improved social and psychological outcomes such as healthier self-image, reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms, and higher levels of academic achievement.” 2
To read the original U.S. News article, click here
- Kennewell, E., Curtis, R.G., Maher, C. et al. The relationships between school children’s wellbeing, socio-economic disadvantage and after-school activities: a cross-sectional study. BMC Pediatr 22, 297 (2022)
- Mann, D. (2022, June 29). Kids Happier, healthier away from all those screens: Study. U.S. News. Retrieved June 29, 2022