*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.
As the world continues to advance, technology is becoming a bigger part of every child’s development. Playing on various digital devices for too long, however, can be just as bad for kids as it is for adults. A recent study says excessive screen time may stunt a child’s growth, especially if they start using devices around age two or three.
Researchers in Singapore examined over 500 children. Their findings lead them to recommend parents follow World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, advising a limit of one hour per day for a child’s screen time. This amount should be even less for children younger than five.
Study authors say screen time tends to replace time children usually spend sleeping or engaging in physical activity. This can lead to a variety of health problems, including high risk of obesity and lower mental development.
For the study, parents were asked to report on their children’s screen time at age two and again one year later. Activities like playing video games, watching TV, and using a tablet or phone were all included in the results.
When the children turned five, they continuously wore an activity tracker for seven days. That tracker monitors sleep, time spent sitting, and how much light-to-strenuous physical activity the youngsters get.
On average, the average child watched 2.5 hours of television. TV is the most used device. Children spending at least three hours a day in front of a screen are also spending an average of 40 more minutes sitting down compared to more active five-year-olds.
The results also revealed children at age five were also less active if they’ve been using devices too much early on. Those youths got about 30 minutes less light activity each day and 10 minutes less vigorous exercise as well.
Source: Study Finds