WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- While TV watching is a part of daily life, excessive watching turn kids to couch potatoes later in life.
- A study in Singapore that followed children’s TV screen time and activity levels from when they were 2 to 3 years old found that when they turned five, they engaged less in light to heavy activities, unlike kids who had lesser screen time.
- According to the World Health Organization guidelines, toddlers are limited to watching TV to one hour a day.
Watching TV is an enjoyable part of a child’s life. However, a study found that young children who spend too much time in front of the TV earlier in life tend to transition to couch potatoes by the time they reach the age of five.
According to researchers of the National University of Singapore, by the time kids enter primary school, they move each day 40 minutes slower than kids who spend lesser time watching TV when they were 2 to 3 years old.
Constantly watching TV reduces physical activities. Because of this, kids are at risk of developing obesity and other health disorders. The scientists recommend parents to adhere to the World Health Organization guidelines that limit children’s screen time to one hour a day.
For the study, the parents of 552 children between ages 2 and 3 were asked the number of hours each day their children spend watching TV. When these kids turned five, they were given activity trackers which they wore continuously for a week to record sleep, rest and activity levels.
Findings showed that only one in five passed the WHO guideline limit. Furthermore, the children who watched TV for three hours or more engaged in light activities like walking 30 minutes less and ten minutes less in moderate to heavy such as running.
“Reducing screen time in early childhood might promote healthier behaviors and associated outcomes later in life,” said study leader Dr. Falk Muller-Riemenschneider.
Researcher Bozhi Chen said the findings add to the growing evidence of the links between increased screen time to a number of problems in children including excessive weight gain as well as poor sleep and school performance. It also supports the call for parents to teach healthy lifestyles and other earlier interventions to get their kids off the couch.
Source: New York Post