fbpx

Early-life screen time reduces physical activity in later childhood

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Early-life screen time reduces physical activity in later childhood

Researchers have found that children who spend more time looking at tablets or television screens as infants are likely to be less physically active as they enter school age.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, revealed that kids aged two to three who spend more than three hours a day viewing screens, such as tablets and televisions (TVs) grow up to be less physically active at age 5.5 years, compared to children who used screens for an hour or less each day.

The study, involving more than 500 children in Singapore, suggests that adhering to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines to limit screen time to one hour per day or less among children aged two to five years may promote healthier behaviours in later life.

“We sought to determine whether screen viewing habits at the age two to three affected how children spent their time at age five. In particular we were interested in whether screen viewing affected sleep patterns and activity levels later in childhood,” said Falk Muller-Riemenschneider, from the National University of Singapore.

Screen viewing is increasingly prevalent but excessive screen time in childhood has been linked to a range of health problems, including increased risk of obesity and reduced cognitive development, the researchers said.

For the findings, parents were asked to report how much time the children spent on average either watching or playing video games on TV, using a computer, or using a handheld device, such as mobile phone or tablet.

These screen habits were recorded when the children were aged two and again at age three. An average of the two recordings were used in the analysis.

At age five, the children wore an activity tracker continuously for seven days to monitor their sleep, sedentary behaviour, light physical activity, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.

Children in the study spent an average of 2.5 hours a day watching screens at age two to three.

Television was the most commonly used device and was associated with the longest viewing time. Only a small proportion of children in the study met WHO recommendations of one hour per day or less.

The findings revealed that children who had used screens for three or more hours a day between the ages two to three spent an average of 40 minutes more time sitting down each day at age five than did those who had used screens for less than an hour a day at the same ages.

Such higher screen use in infancy was associated with around 30 minutes less light physical activity each day, and around 10 minutes less moderate to vigorous activity each day, the study said.

- Advertisement -

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Frontline worker Parita Patel (inset). Image supplied

‘Serving the community’: COVID testing in remote NSW

0
  The past two years have been a rollercoaster of COVID-19 related turmoil; from isolating lockdowns, closed borders, to trying to help Indians in the...

Ep 9: What do young Indians want from love?

0
  Growing up in Indian culture, most of us know that love has never been as popular as marriage. Even in the movies, the main...

Ep 8: Indian links in Indigenous Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann’s...

0
  To celebrate NAIDOC week 2020 (between 8-15 November) I spoke to Yakunytjatjara poet Ali Cobby Eckermann about her time in India where she taught...
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Viral CEO Vishal Garg apologises for mass layoffs over Zoom call

0
  Better.com CEO Vishal Garg, who was massively trolled for laying off 900 employees over a Zoom meeting call last week, has finally issued an...

General Bipin Rawat was working to modernise Indian military

0
After 43 years in service, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat (63) was tasked with making the Indian military modern and capable of...
TiE at Nazaarey wines

TiE Melbourne: developing conscious entrepreneurs

0
  When Prakash Gupta and his wife Seema migrated to Australia in 2000 as skilled professionals, they were in search of job opportunities. They felt...
b'desh art org qagoma

South Asian artists in QAGOMA’s Asia Pacific Triennial

0
  In the 10th edition of QAGOMA's Asia Pacific Triennial (APT10), the exhibition hopes to look to the future of art and the world we...

Saahil Bhargava pays homage to Aussie rock band Karnivool

0
  Fresh off his debut EP released back in August, LA-based singer-songwriter Saahil Bhargava has unveiled what he’s dubbed an “homage” to one of Australia’s...