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The Impact of Prolonged Screen Time on Childhood Development

by EJ_Team
0 comment 3 minutes read

The growing concern over the impact of excessive screen time during childhood is well-founded. Research suggests that it’s not just about screen addiction; it’s about how screens can disconnect us from our surroundings and even lead to real addictions that often necessitate intervention from mental health professionals.

Neurocognitive Learning Disorders

Another alarming finding is that prolonged screen use can lead to neurocognitive learning disorders such as ADHD, potentially affecting the critical stages of personality formation in childhood.

Sedentary Lifestyle

In addition to neurological and cognitive implications, there’s a direct link between excessive screen time and a sedentary lifestyle among children and adolescents. The more time they spend in front of screens, the less they engage in physical activities.

New Study Sheds Light on Heart Risks

The latest study, conducted by Andrew Agbaje at the University of Eastern Finland and presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2023, introduces a new dimension to the discussion. It suggests that sedentary children face an elevated risk of heart damage in early adulthood, potentially leading to heart attacks and strokes.

Understanding the Cumulative Effects of Inactivity

To arrive at these findings, researchers analyzed data from the “Children of the 90s” study, which has followed the health and lifestyles of over 14,000 individuals from birth into adulthood. Participants were asked to wear smartwatches that monitored their activity at different stages of life.

Screen Time and Heart Weight

What’s particularly striking is the direct relationship between accumulated sedentary time, including screen use, and increased heart weight among young people. Importantly, this heightened the likelihood of heart issues in adulthood, irrespective of body weight or blood pressure.

Early Sedentary Behavior Matters

The takeaway from this study is clear: Encouraging physical activity in children and adolescents while limiting screen time is of paramount importance. Childhood sedentary behavior may be an underestimated risk factor for cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

A Time for Action

This research underscores the significance of fostering active lifestyles from an early age. Even small changes in childhood behavior can have lasting effects on heart health. It’s a call to heed Martin Luther King’s words: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving.”

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Education Journalist endeavours to bring this forward to mentor individuals or an organization and use their learning and experiences to pave their path.

 

contact@educationjournalist.com

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