How Screen Time In Early Childhood Affects Physical Activity In Preschool

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How Screen Time In Early Childhood Affects Physical Activity In Preschool
How Screen Time In Early Childhood Affects Physical Activity In Preschool

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Video: Kids and Screen Time: Mayo Clinic Radio 2023, February
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How Screen Time in Early Childhood Affects Physical Activity in Preschool

If at an early age children spend more than 3 hours a day at the screen, at preschool age their physical activity is significantly lower than that of children whose screen time did not exceed 1 hour.

How Screen Time in Early Childhood Affects Physical Activity in Preschool
How Screen Time in Early Childhood Affects Physical Activity in Preschool

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If at an early age children spend more than 3 hours a day at the screen, at preschool age their physical activity is significantly lower than that of children whose screen time did not exceed 1 hour. A study published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health tells about this.

In the past, screen time in children has been linked to an increased risk of obesity and cognitive decline. It can “steal” minutes and even hours that are required for physical activity and sleep, scientists say.

“We were trying to find out if the habits that are associated with watching the screen at age 2-3 can affect the way children spend their time at age 5. In particular, we were interested in whether screen time affects the patterns of dreams and activities in childhood,”said study co-author Falk Müller-Riemenschneider from the National University of Singapore.

Scientists included more than 500 children in the study. They took into account how much time children spend in front of screens of any kind: TV, tablet, smartphone. At the age of 2-3, children spent an average of 2.5 hours a day at the screen. Most of the time they stayed at the TV.

The physical activity of children who at the age of 2-3 years spent more than three hours at the screen was 40 minutes lower at the age of 5 than those who remained at the screen for less than an hour. 10 minutes of intense and 30 minutes of light physical activity "disappeared". This effect was observed regardless of the type of screen.

New research suggests that World Health Organization guidelines to limit young children to 1 hour of screen time a day may help foster healthier behaviors. This is the first study of its kind.

This research paper does not demonstrate a causal relationship between screen time and physical activity, said Dr. Dorothea Dumuid of the University of South Australia, who was not involved in the study. The fact is that screen time can be a marker for other reasons that reduce the mobility of children. She noted:

“Many governments and the World Health Organization have issued recommendations to limit screen time. But screens foster social connections and enable learning. In the future, it is necessary to assess the impact of media content in order to assess the optimal duration of screen time […] and establish causal relationships.

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