Children and Screen TimeA recent study published last month in the journal Pediatrics showed that children who slept near a “small screen” such as a smartphone, had 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep per weekday than those who never did and those who slept in a room with a TV received 18 fewer minutes of sleep per weekday than those with no TV. To see the study go to http://bit.ly/1KoMrS1. Those with screens, - smartphones or TVs- went to bed on average 30 minutes later than those with no screens.
The study examined about 2,000 fourth and seventh graders. The study examined weekday sleep habits because the students had a fixed wake-up time during the school year. There are many concerns related to the lack of sleep i.e. effects of inactivity, school performance, and psychosocial health.
Here are some tips for helping young people to remain physically active:
· Set a positive example by leading an active lifestyle yourself.
· Make physical activity part of your family's daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together.
· Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity.
· Take young people to places where they can be active, such as public parks, community baseball fields or basketball courts.
· Be positive about the physical activities in which your child participates and encourage them to be interested in new activities.
· Make physical activity fun. Fun activities can be anything your child enjoys, either structured or non-structured. Activities can range from team sports or individual sports to recreational activities such as walking, running, skating, bicycling, swimming, playground activities or free-time play.
· Instead of watching television after dinner, encourage your child to find fun activities to do on their own or with friends and family, such as walking, playing chase or riding bikes.