Study: Only 5% of US children ages 8–11 follow screen time, sleep and exercise guidelines recommended for brain development


Lim­it­ing chil­dren’s screen time linked to bet­ter cog­ni­tion, study says (CNN):

Lim­it­ing kids’ recre­ation­al screen time to less than two hours a day, along with suf­fi­cient sleep and phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, is asso­ci­at­ed with improved cog­ni­tion, accord­ing to a study pub­lished in The Lancet Child & Ado­les­cent Health.

The study includ­ed about 4,500 US chil­dren ages 8 to 11 and mea­sured their habits against the Cana­di­an 24-Hour Move­ment Guide­lines for Chil­dren and Youth. It found that 51% of the chil­dren got the rec­om­mend­ed nine to 11 hours of unin­ter­rupt­ed sleep per night, 37% met the recre­ation­al screen time lim­it of two hours or less per day, while 18% met the phys­i­cal activ­i­ty rec­om­men­da­tion of at least 60 min­utes of accu­mu­lat­ed phys­i­cal activ­i­ty a day.

Only 5% of the chil­dren in the study met all three rec­om­men­da­tions; 30% met none at all…

The researchers found that as each rec­om­men­da­tion was met by a par­tic­i­pant, there was a pos­i­tive asso­ci­a­tion with glob­al cog­ni­tion, which includes mem­o­ry, atten­tion, pro­cess­ing speed and lan­guage. Those who met all three had the most “supe­ri­or” glob­al cog­ni­tion, fol­lowed by those meet­ing the sleep and screen time rec­om­men­da­tion and final­ly the screen time rec­om­men­da­tion alone, accord­ing to the study.”

The Study:

Asso­ci­a­tions between 24 hour move­ment behav­iours and glob­al cog­ni­tion in US chil­dren: a cross-sec­tion­al obser­va­tion­al study (The Lancet Child & Ado­les­cent Health). From the abstract:

  • Back­ground: Child­hood and ado­les­cence are cru­cial peri­ods for brain devel­op­ment, and the behav­iours dur­ing a typ­i­cal 24 h peri­od con­tribute to cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. The Cana­di­an 24-Hour Move­ment Guide­lines for Chil­dren and Youth rec­om­mend at least 60 min phys­i­cal activ­i­ty per day, 2 h or less recre­ation­al screen time per day, and 9–11 h sleep per night in chil­dren aged 8–11 years. We inves­ti­gat­ed the rela­tion­ship between adher­ence to these rec­om­men­da­tions and glob­al cognition.
  • Meth­ods: In this cross-sec­tion­al obser­va­tion­al study, we obtained data from the first annu­al curat­ed release of the Ado­les­cent Brain Cog­ni­tive Devel­op­ment study, a 10-year lon­gi­tu­di­nal, obser­va­tion­al study. Data were col­lect­ed from 21 study sites across the USA between Sept 1, 2016, and Sept 15, 2017. The par­tic­i­pants were 4524 US chil­dren aged 8–11 years from 20 study sites … Over­all, 2303 (51%) par­tic­i­pants met the sleep rec­om­men­da­tion, 1655 (37%) met screen time, and 793 (18%) met the phys­i­cal activ­i­ty rec­om­men­da­tion. 3190 (71%) par­tic­i­pants met at least one rec­om­men­da­tion, where­as 216 (5%) of par­tic­i­pants met all three rec­om­men­da­tions. Glob­al cog­ni­tion was pos­i­tive­ly asso­ci­at­ed with each addi­tion­al rec­om­men­da­tion met.
  • Inter­pre­ta­tion: Meet­ing the 24 h move­ment rec­om­men­da­tions was asso­ci­at­ed with supe­ri­or glob­al cog­ni­tion. These find­ings high­light the impor­tance of lim­it­ing recre­ation­al screen time and encour­ag­ing healthy sleep to improve cog­ni­tion in children.

The Study in Context:


About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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