Only 5 Percent of U.S. Kids Meet Sleep, Exercise and Screen Time Guidelines

New study shows children are spending too much time in front of screens and not getting enough shuteye.

(Getty Images)
Getty Images

A new study reports that only one in 20 kids in the United States meets guidelines on sleep, exercise and screen time, and one-third of kids are outside recommendations for all three.

The research says that children aged eight to 11 spent 3.6 hours a day glued to a TV, mobile phone, tablet or computer screen, nearly double the suggested limit of two hours. The study, which was reported in the Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, claims that too little sleep and excess screen time were clearly linked to a drop-off in cognitive skills, including language ability, memory and task completion.

“We found that more than two hours of recreational screen time in children was associated with poorer cognitive development,” said lead author Jeremy Walsh, a researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, said to The Guardian. 

“Based on our findings, pediatricians, parents, educators and policymakers should promote limiting recreation screen time and prioritizing healthy sleep routines during childhood and adolescence.”

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