Study: Too much time in front of screens is deadly!

Family watching TV
“Nature deprivation,” a lack of time in the natural world, mostly due to hours spent in front of TV or computer screens, has been associated, unsurprisingly, with depression. Studies by Weinstein and others associate screen time with a loss of empathy and lack of altruism.

And the risks are even higher than depression and isolation. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, time in front of a screen was associated with a higher risk of death, and that was independent of physical activity!

Limit your children's screen time

The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting children's exposure to screens—including computers, televisions, hand-held devices, and video games—to two hours per day. More than that can have serious consequences, including obesity, behavioral problems, irregular sleep, violent tendencies, poor academic performance, and dampened creativity.

TV watching also limits eye movement. The inability to read has been linked with underdeveloped eye movements, and TV may be a factor in what some education researchers see as a growing problem of illiteracy or semi-literacy. This is additional to the fact that it is easier to sit in front of the screen than to read a book. I state firmly that no child under the age of 4 ought to be placed in front of the TV screen.

Instead, encourage your child to engage with nature, whether that's playing an outdoor sport, reading next to a window, or taking a walk around the block.
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