Nine out of ten children are attached to screens and sleep poorly due to blue light that disrupts their natural pattern
- Loughborough University and University College London have investigated screen time, sleep and physical activity in children based on a previous study of 2015-2016
- More than three-quarters of teenagers spend more than two hours a day with a screen
- Less than 1/2 of the 14-year-olds meet the requirement of an hour of physical activity
- Sleep deprivation is linked to depressive symptoms and can damage thinking skills
NINE out of ten children do not get enough sleep or exercise and spend too much time on screens, experts warn.
Children who spend hours on smartphones and tablets move around less and the blue light from the devices disrupts their sleep patterns.
The study, by Loughborough University and University College London, looked at screen time, sleep and physical activity in children based on the Millennium Cohort Study of 2015 and 2016.
The research found that more than three-quarters of teenagers spent more than two hours on screens during the day. Although England has no screen guidelines, two hours is the maximum amount for younger children in Canada
The study, in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, states that only 9.7 percent of 14-year-olds in the UK meet three recommendations, with more than three-quarters of teenagers spending more than two hours on screens every day.
England has no guidelines for screening time, but in Canada less than two hours a day is recommended for younger children.
The results show that only 23.1 percent of 14-year-olds deal with this, and the study of nearly 4,000 British children discovered that nearly 77 percent of 14-year-olds spend two or more hours a day on screens.
In addition, less than half of 14-year-olds manage to reach the recommended hour or more per day of moderate or vigorous physical activity. Researchers also discovered that more than one in ten children did not get more than eight hours of sleep on a school night.
Only 40.5 percent of the children manage to get the amount of exercise recommended by the NHS. Children with depressive symptoms and obese boys had the best chance of not meeting the requirements
Only 40.5 percent receive the amount of exercise that the NHS recommends, although 89.3 percent received more than eight hours of sleep. This has been associated with depressive symptoms, according to the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, while there are indications that it can also damage thinking skills.
Children with depression symptoms and boys who were obese had the least chance of meeting the set standards.
The authors conclude: "The first step towards targeted intervention efforts is insight into the factors associated with multiple unhealthy behaviors."
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