Limiting Children's Screen Time Linked To Better Cognition
Children aged eight to 11 who used screens for fun for less than two hours a day performed better in tests of mental ability, a study found.
ISLAMABAD, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 27th Sep, 2018 ) :Children aged eight to 11 who used screens for fun for less than two hours a day performed better in tests of mental ability, a study found.
Researchers said more work was now needed to better understand the effects of different types of screen use.
However, they acknowledge that their observational study shows only an association between screen time and cognition and cannot prove a causal link.
It found that children who each day had less than two hours of recreational screen time, got nine to 11 hours of sleep, and did at least one hour of physical activity performed better than who did none of these.
Less than two hours of screen time a day was the one factor most linked to better performance in the test.
Dr Jeremy Walsh, from the CHEO Research Institute, in Ottawa, Canada, said: "Based on our findings, paediatricians, parents, educators, and policymakers should promote limiting recreational screen time and prioritising healthy sleep routines throughout childhood and adolescence." Dr Walsh added that more research was now needed into the links between screen time and cognition, including studying the effects of different types of screen time.
However, the authors acknowledged there were limitations to their study, including that the data was self-reported.
The questionnaires were also only used only at the beginning of the study and so did not track how behaviours may change over time.
Dr Kirsten Corder, senior investigator scientist at the University of Cambridge, who was not involved in the study, said it added to existing evidence showing potential negative links with screen time and cognitive development in children.
But she pointed out that the children may have struggled to answer the questions accurately.
Dr Corder also said further work was needed to develop more accurate ways to assess the effects of screen time in detail.