Staying more than two hours a day in front of a screen affects the cognitive development of the child, say Canadian researchers.
Limiting the time spent by children in front of a smartphone, tablet or computer screen would promote their intellectual abilities. On the other hand, a screen overdose would harm their cognitive development. In a September 26 study in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, Canadian researchers assessed the limit beyond which screens would be detrimental to children’s mental abilities. Answer: After two hours, the screens would be a risk. 4500 American children aged between eight and eleven responded to questionnaires to learn about their sleep patterns, physical activity, and time spent in front of the screen. The volunteers also passed a cognitive competency test.
The results of the tests suggest a virtuous relationship between sleep, cognitive performance and low exposure to screens: children who spent less than two hours of time in front of a screen had a good sleep (they sleep between nine and eleven hours), Practised at least one hour of physical activity per day. The low consumption of screens (less than two hours) has also been associated with better performance in cognitive tests. For these children, the results for these tests were about 4% higher than the group average.
On the other hand, in the “Bulimics” of screens (more than two hours per day), intellectual skills such as working memory, processing speed, attention levels and language skills proved to be more mediocre.
These observations-based results suggest that every minute the child spends on a screen is one minute less sleep or time spent on cognitively or physically stimulating activities.
Limit the time spent in front of the screen for the child’s development.
“We found that more than two hours of screen time in children was associated with lower cognitive development. More in-depth research on the links between screen time and cognition is now needed, including the study of the effect of different types of screen time, whether the content is educational or entertaining, that it requires a Concentration or involves multitasking, “says Dr. Jeremy Walsh of the University of Ottawa at the Telegraph. “Based on our discoveries, pediatricians, parents, educators and policy makers should promote the limitation of time spent in front of screens and prioritize healthy sleep patterns throughout childhood and adolescence.” , he adds.