During the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of time children in the United States spend with televisions, smartphones, and tablets has doubled. They dedicate nearly 8 hours a day to it, and that doesn’t include school activities, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (USF) calculate.
The researchers focused entirely on recreational activities, including – video games, chatting on social networks, texting, surfing the Internet, watching movies and TV shows. It is linked to a more sedentary lifestyle which affects the mental health of many teens” The latest research published in JAMA Pediatric appears.
According to the study’s author, Dr. Jason Nagata, with more time spent watching screens, teens had more stress, and had more anxiety and vision problems. At the same time, their coping skills declined.
“While social media and video chats can support social bonding, we found that this was not the goal of most teens during the outbreak.” – Evaluated by Dr. Jason Nagata.
Study findings suggest that over the past two years, lockdowns, online learning, and social distancing have led to a reliance on digital media in nearly all aspects of teens’ lives.
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, is the first to include data from across America. It was performed on 5,412 children between the ages of 10 and 14 years.
The study showed that, on average, teens stared at screens for recreational purposes for 7.7 hours. per day, which is 3.8 hours more than the pre-pandemic estimate. Watching or streaming movies or TV shows, and using video games also contribute to this increase. This trend has not changed with the gradual reduction of coronavirus-related restrictions.
“We found that black and Hispanic teens and children from low-income families spend most of their time in front of screens. This may be due to insufficient funds for other types of activities or lack of access to a safe outdoor space.” – Dr. Jason Nagata concludes.
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