BRISTOL, England, Oct. 13 (UPI) — Excessive TV and computer screen time not only increases weight gain risk in children, it also can increase psychological difficulties, British researchers say.
Lead author Dr. Angie Page of the University of Bristol’s Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences says the PEACH project, involving 1,000 children ages 10-11, measured the time they spent in front of a TV or computer screen as well as their psychological well being.
The study, scheduled to be published in the November issue of the American journal Pediatrics, finds children who spend more than 2 hours in front of a computer or TV screen are more likely to suffer psychological difficulties, regardless of how physically active they are.
“Whilst low levels of screen viewing may not be problematic, we cannot rely on physical activity to ‘compensate’ for long hours of screen viewing,” Page says in a statement. “Watching TV or playing computer games for more than 2 hours a day is related to greater psychological difficulties irrespective of how active children are.”
However, the children who spent more time sedentary had better psychological scores overall.
Children who did more moderate physical activity fared better in certain psychological areas, including emotional and peer problems, but fared worse in some areas related to behavior, including hyperactivity, Page says.
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