Sedentary time better than screen time for childrenAs far as risk of heart diseases in children is concerned, spending too much time watching TV, playing video and computer games is worse unlike the time the children spend in sedentary activities such as book reading. The Canadian study was done by researchers from University of Ottawa, Concordia University, University de Montreal, McGill University and University Laval. The study targeted a group of over 5000 white kids aged between eight and ten years that at least one of the parents was obese.

Those participating in the study wore accelerometers that were specially designed to provide the researchers with accurate measures on the level of physical activity during a period of 7 days. The time spent on the screen was reported by the children themselves during the one week period and the intake of food was taken for one day on a weekend and two days during weekday.

Association between heart health and screen time

The findings of the study reported a negative relationship between the time spent on the screen and the health of the heart for the children. For instance, the study showed that screen time is associated to low high density lipoprotein levels cholesterol that is known as good cholesterol and offers protection against heart diseases. Being engaged in screen time means eating more and the association was associated to the excess consumption of calories during screen time, reported Chaput from University of Ottawa department of pediatrics.

It is a given that food intake is stimulated by watching TV which also applies for playing video games as well as using a laptop alongside similar activities. As such, eating more and spending more time on the screen cam cause health problems later in life unlike when reading a novel for pleasure and relaxing without screens on the couch. This might be better largely due to the reason that we tend to eat less.

Recommended daily screen time

Screen time in the study represented 55% of sedentary activities of the child which is characterized by minimal physical movement as well as low energy expenditure. The researchers noted that 50% of kids satisfied guidelines on screen time usage that recommends not more than two hours of screen time in a day. The professor continued to say that participants in the study who spent more than two screen time hours in a day took more calories compared to kids that satisfied the guidelines. Youths and children are recommended to involve themselves with at least an hour of moderate and vigorous physical activities in a day. Some of the examples include bike riding, skating and walking for moderate activities and basketball, soccer and running for vigorous intensity aerobic activities. Parents were also asked to be role models so that encourage a healthier lifestyle for the kids.