A recent study on children’s screen time has revealed that during the coronavirus pandemic, screen time among children increased by 83 minutes per day on average.
The Guardian reports that a recent study by Anglia Ruskin University published in eClinicalMedicine, which is part of the Lancet Discovery Science journal, that the average screen time use among children during the coronavirus lockdowns increased by 83 minutes. The sharp rise was also associated with poorer diets, poorer eye health, increased anxiety and negative mental health effects, and behavioral issues such as increased aggression and irritability.
Researchers wrote in the journal: “This review found that all age groups increased their total screen time. Primary-aged children reported largest increases, followed by adults, adolescents, and young children. Leisure screen time also increased in all age groups, with primary-aged children reporting the largest increases, followed by adults, young children and adolescents.”
The researchers found that more time spent looking at screens including television or the computer was linked to negative health effects. Young children aged between 5 and 10 saw the largest increase in screen time of 83 minutes a day. Adults saw an increase of 58 minutes a day, while adolescents aged between 11 and 17 saw a 55-minute increase.
Prof Shahina Pardhan, the senior author and director of the Vision and Eye Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, commented: “This study is the first of its kind to look systematically at peer-reviewed research papers on increases in screen time during the pandemic and its impact.”
By bringing together numerous studies, we get a much more accurate picture of screen time among the population and its associated health repercussions. As with any study of this type, there are degrees of variability between the research looked at.
However, the overall picture provides clear evidence that screen time should be reduced wherever possible to minimise potential negative outcomes. These include adverse dietary behaviours, sleep, mental health and eye health effects. It is also important that non-sedentary activities are promoted to mitigate the risks of increased screen time.”
Read more at the Guardian here.
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