“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.”
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:
- What are cognitive abilities and how to boost them?
- How learning changes your brain
- Large study to assess impact on early brain development of financial assistance to low-income mothers
- Study: Parents’ educational and income levels (not breastfeeding per se) account for the brain development gains in breastfed children
- Study: Both maternal and parental obesity linked to young children’s neurodevelopmental delays