Kids, computers, and psychological problems

A recent test has found that children spending over two hours each day in front of their computer or television screen are expected to have more problems psychologically.  The test studied over 1300 eleven year olds around Bristol.  The results are subjective because no link to cause was found.

Without a causal link, it is hard to say with any confidence that the study proves anything.  The children were asked questions about how often they feel sad or upset and if they prefer being alone to being with other people.

Although statistics from the study show that the children watching over two hours of television or computer daily tended to be more shy and withdrawn, it may just be that shy and withdrawn children gravitate to their television or computer for solace.  There just is not any evidence to prove a conclusion one way or another.

Exercise was also taken into consideration.  The children were asked how much they exercised daily and then were fitted with activity monitors for one week.

The exercise seemed to play no significant factor at all, as the statistics gleaned were children who spent in excess of two hours per day in front of their TV or computer were at a sixty per cent higher risk of having psychological problems than those who spent less time at TV or a computer.  The risk to children who did hardly any or no exercising at all was only very slightly higher.

Perhaps this all boils down to the fact that the U.S. and Canada have television and computer viewing guidelines for children based on tests done in their respective countries.  The UK has no such recommendations at this time.

Curiously, the recommended TV and computer viewing times for children in Canada and the U.S. are under two hours.

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