Limiting screen time can lead to better cognition in children, says study

Study reveals best way to improve your child's brain power

Study reveals best way to improve your child's brain power

Walsh along with his research team observed the data of 4,520 children spread across 20 locations in the US.

Limiting screen time along with sleep for nine to 11 hours lead to better performances in children.

However, only one in 20 United States children aged between 8-11 years meet the three recommendations advised by the Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines to ensure good cognitive development - 9-11 hours of sleep, less than two hours of recreational screen time, and at least an hour of physical activity every day.

For children between 18 months and age six, however, the AAP still recommends no more than an hour of screen time, while children younger should get none at all.

Researchers kept in mind other factors that may have influenced the results such as the net household income, race and ethnicity, the body max index and other useful indicators, but they can not claim that the study is completely accurate. This was surprising, according to the authors, and it may suggest that the physical activity measure may not have been specific enough.

The more individual recommendations the child met, the better their cognition. "More research into the links between screen time and cognition is now needed, including studying the effect of different types of screen time, whether content is educational or entertainment, and whether it requires focus or involves multitasking".

The study was conducted by Canadian researchers, but examined children in the USA using the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth.

While there is a lot of evidence linking physical activity and cognitive development, in this study, meeting the physical activity recommendation alone showed no association with cognition.

She suggested that future research could benefit from using data collection methods that provide more precise results than questionnaires which rely on self-reported information.

Even though some facts are not entirely or accurately proven, everybody knows that leaving your child in front of a tablet or a TV the whole day is not healthy for them. Both the parents and the children completed questionnaires at the beginning of the study to gauge typical behaviors in these three areas.

The researchers did note that the findings from the study do come with some limitations, in part due to the observational nature of the study. The real battle comes with figuring out how to actually implement these recommended behaviors in your child's day-to-day life.

"Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activities", Dr. Bustamante wrote in a commentary that accompanied the study. In the case of evening screen use, this displacement may also be compounded by impairment of sleep quality.

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