Is too much screen time diminishing your kid’s cognitive skills? A new study suggests that the trio of limiting kids’ screen time to less than two hours a day, sufficient sleep and physical activity, is linked to better cognition.
Published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, the researchers have reported that excessive screen time was associated with a decline in cognitive behavior like language ability, memory, and task completion.
The team included about 4,500 US children ages 8 to 11 from the United States. They measured children’s six kinds of cognitive skills against the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for children.
As a result, the team found that 37% of kids met the recreational screen time limit and 18 percent met the physical activity recommendation. 30% of the children in the study failed to meet any of the criteria and only 5% met all three recommendations.
“We found that more than two hours of recreational screen time in children was associated with poorer cognitive development,” said lead author Jeremy Walsh, a researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute.
“Based on our findings, paediatricians, parents, educators and policymakers should promote limiting recreation screen time and prioritising healthy sleep routines during childhood and adolescence.”
The study used data from the National Institutes of Health-funded Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development study along with surveys conducted by parents on child’s behavior like their sleep time, their screen time, and how often the children were physically active.