#220 – Limiting Technology

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Based on research by Rosen, L. D., Lim, A. F., Felt, J., Carrier, L. M., Cheever, N. A., Lara-Ruiz, J. M., … and Rokkum, J. (2014) written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS.

Should there be limits placed on children’s technology use?

Previous research shows that all children use incredible amounts of media. Those youth spending more time using technology have been shown to be at risk for increased obesity, reduced physical activity, and overall decreased health. Psychology researchers surveyed online over 1000 parents of children ages 4 through 18 to evaluate the impact of technology on their children’s health. Parents identified their child’s psychological issues, behavior problems, attention problems, and physical health. They estimated their child’s daily use of technology, food consumption, exercise, and overall health.

Analysis of the results showed that after accounting for eating habits and physical activity, increased daily technology use predicted poor health. For children and preteens, total media usage predicted poor health. Specific technologies of video gaming and electronic communication were problematic for preteens. For teenagers, cell phone, music players, internet, and computer also contributed to poor well-being.

Certainly healthy eating and physical activity is essential. To maximize your child’s school success and health, work with them to set limits on their technology use. Provide opportunities for developing skills, exercise and outdoor activities without technology.

References:

Rosen, L. D., Lim, A. F., Felt, J., Carrier, L. M., Cheever, N. A., Lara-Ruiz, J. M., … & Rokkum, J. (2014). Media and technology use predicts ill-being among children, preteens and teenagers independent of the negative health impacts of exercise and eating habits. Computers in human behavior, 35, 364-375.

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