Computers & TV in Bedrooms Linked to Children’s Weight and Sleep Problems

A recent study out of the University of Alberta has shown that computers and televisions in children’s bedroom negatively affects their sleep and weight. This research is the first to find a correlation between sleep, diet and physical activity among kids.

In the study, nearly 3,400 Grade 5 students  in Alberta were asked about their nighttime sleep habits and access to electronics. Half of the students had a TV, DVD player or video game console in their bedroom, 21 per cent had a computer and 17 per cent had a cellphone. Five per cent of students had all three types of devices.

Some 57 per cent of students reported using electronics after they were supposed to be asleep, with watching TV and movies being the most popular activity. Twenty-seven per cent of students engaged in three or more activities after bedtime. Researchers found that students with access to one electronic device were about one and a half times as likely to be overweight as kids with no devices in the bedroom. That increased to to more than two and a half times for kids with three devices.

By reducing children’s access to electronic devices in the bedroom, the odds of getting more sleep increases. With each one hour of additional sleep the chance of being overweight or obese decreases by 28 per cent and 30 per cent, respectively. And more sleep also led to significantly more physical activity and better diet choices, researchers found.

Source: ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2012)

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