5 ways to curb ill-effects of prolonged screen-time for kids
The study revealed that most students watched TV and spent time on social media the most. Such activities have a negative impact on children’s health and well-being. It is not lack of physical movement that is causing the damage, since other sedentary activities such as reading or doing homework contribute positively to well-being.
CHENNAI: According to a study led by the University of South Australia, published in the journal BMC Paediatrics, has found that children’s well-being and health are heightened when they participate in extra-curricular activities, such as playing sports and music or meeting friends. On the other hand, children’s well-being is reduced when they spend their free time on social media or playing video games.
The researchers analysed data from more than 60,000 school students of four to nine years old, assessing their participation in after-school activities, and measuring these against factors related to well-being, such as happiness, engagement, optimism, emotional regulation, perseverance, or life satisfaction.
The study revealed that most students watched TV and spent time on social media the most. Such activities have a negative impact on children’s health and well-being. It is not lack of physical movement that is causing the damage, since other sedentary activities such as reading or doing homework contribute positively to well-being. Instead, screen time appears to be the main culprit behind children’s mental health problems.
It’s certainly a challenge, especially as most children have been brought up on devices. But if parents and immediate families can be more aware of the issues associated with prolonged exposure to blue-light screens, it paves way to unleash a balance between need screen-time and other activities pertaining to the physical and mental well-being of the children.
Five ways to make children less exposed to screen-time are:
1) Creating ‘technology-free zones: By making the use of smart phones, laptops and any smart gadgets restricted to one part of the room, letting a leeway of monitoring the children spend time in that place and the purpose of usage.
2) Talking with children: Any sudden restrictions on tech-gadgets may create negative impacts on the children. So, it is important that parents talk through every situation and gradually make the children understand what good it develops to them.
3) Encourage other activities: Parents should consider developing special interests in them like gardening, writing, reading books, out-door sports, etc. which are fun ways to wile off time and keeps them engaged and provides learning experience as well.
4) Cultivate healthy habits: Modifying their routine and developing habits of daily exercise, yoga and meditation paired with healthy eating habits will add up to the well-being of the children.
5) Family-time: In modern world, filled with nuclear families, children tend to be obsessed with smart gadgets to fill in their forlorn times. It is important to provide family-time with parents, grandparents, family friends to make them feel inclusive and providing the much needed break from the tiring screen time.