These days, it’s practically impossible to pry your kids away from their computers. They’re constantly glued to the screen, leaving no time for any form of physical activity. This imbalance does not bode well for their health. According to a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, kids who get too much screen time may be putting their heart and lungs at risk. Apparently, the more time they spend in front of the screen, the more likely it is for their cardiorespiratory fitness level to decrease.
Researchers followed more than 2,000 children between the ages of 11 and 13 and asked them to report how often they used their computers or any other gadgets with electronic screens. Afterward, they were asked to run shuttle laps. Based on the results, kids who spent more time on their computers were able to complete fewer laps.
Lead author Jonathan Mitchell, who conducted the research while at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, says, "The results are interesting and add to the evidence that spending too much time sitting is hazardous to children's health."
While no direct cause-and-effect relationship has been found, it can’t hurt to introduce more physical activity into your children’s lives. Get your kids interested in sports and not just simulated sports games on their computers or consoles. Exercise as a family by getting into a sport everyone can do, like running or swimming. If you take the first step, then your children will follow suit.
(Photo by Shreyans Bhansali via Flickr Creative Commons)