Screen time linked to psychological problems in children

A recent study of over 1000 children between the ages of ten and eleven found that 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 authors of the report conclude that limiting children’s screen time may be important for ensuring children’s future health and wellbeing.

“Whilst low levels of screen viewing may not be problematic, we cannot rely on physical activity to ‘compensate’ for long hours of screen viewing,” says lead author Dr. Angie Page from the University of Bristol’s Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences.

“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.”

Children’s psychological wellbeing was assessed on the basis of a strengths and difficulties questionnaire which rated their emotional, peer, conduct and hyperactivity problems.

The research was published in the November edition of the American journal Pediatrics.