Children who spend two hours or more every day either playing video games or watching TV are at a greater risk of suffering psychological problems, a new British study has claimed.
The odds of “significant psychological difficulties” were estimated to increase by about 60 per cent under the conditions. This grew further as screen time was increased and was consistent regardless of gender, age, education or economic background.
The results appear the same regardless of how active the subjects were throughout the rest of the day.
“We know that physical activity is good for both physical and mental health in children and there is some evidence that screen viewing is associated with negative behaviours,” lead researcher Dr. Angie Page told Reuters.
“But it wasn't clear whether having high physical activity levels would 'compensate' for high levels of screen viewing in children.”
Stanford University School of Medicine’s Dr. Thomas Robinson added: “There are already lots of reasons to reduce kids' screen time and this is potentially another. In our studies we find that giving children a screen-time budget and helping them stick to that budget is the most effective way to reduce their television, video game, computer and other screen time, and to improve their health as a result.”