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Tags: youth | kids | screen time | cellphones | health

Research: Youth Screen Time Up 52 Percent During Pandemic

Research: Youth Screen Time Up 52 Percent During Pandemic
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By    |   Wednesday, 09 November 2022 04:31 PM EST

New research has found the average screen time usage among youths aged 18 and under rose by more than 50% during the COVID-19 pandemic.

JAMA Pediatrics, a meta-analysis publisher, included data on more than 29,000 youths aged 18 and under. Data were collected from 46 studies investigating changes in the daily screen time of youths around the globe, with 26% of the studies carried out in North America.

In May 2020, 12- to 13-year-old children doubled their non-academic related screen time. A fall 2020 survey by the University of Minnesota found that more than one-third of U.S. children reported excessive screen time.

“Adolescents were also more likely than younger children during the pandemic to seek new outlets for creative expression, learning new skills and building on existing skills in a remote context, much of which took place on digital devices,” said the researchers.

The 52% increase corresponds to a daily mean of 246 minutes of screen time daily during the pandemic.

The most impacted group was those ages 12 to 18, who saw an increase of 110 minutes per day. Researchers noted that this particular group is likelier to own or have access to digital devices than younger children.

In 2022, a Pew Research study found 95% of U.S. teens reported having access to a smartphone, with 46% saying they utilize internet capabilities.

The researchers found “practitioners working with children, adolescents, and families should focus on promoting healthy device habits among youths, which can include moderating and monitoring daily use, choosing age-appropriate programs, and prioritizing device-free time with family and friends.”

Experts at the University of Michigan have concerns about excessive screen time usage on children’s eyes.

A July meta-analysis by JAMA Pediatrics found a global 32% decrease in children’s engagement in moderate to vigorous physical activity during the pandemic. In a BMC Public Health study, parents reported an increase in sedentary behavior since the early days of the pandemic.

The most common sedentary behaviors reported were watching television, playing on the computer, and playing video games.

Although the sharp increase in screen time could be attributed in part to schools moving to virtual learning, children still use electronic devices during their downtime.

Before the pandemic, youths averaged around 162 minutes a day of screen time.

Research has indicated a link between children’s screen time and poor sleep, physical activity, mental health, eye health and academic outcomes. The majority of parents are in the dark about these issues.

In contrast, a recent study claimed video games might be linked with higher cognitive performance among children who play at least three hours a day.

JAMA Pediatrics also mentioned that most apps for children are designed to manipulate and maintain their attention.

Some states have already instituted laws that would curb the addictive features of apps like Instagram and TikTok. Last week, advocates urged the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transporation to push forward on the Kids Online Safety Act, which would let children and parents disable addictive features and algorithmic recommendations.

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Health-News
New research has found the average screen time usage among youths aged 18 and under rose by more than 50% during the COVID-19 pandemic. JAMA Pediatrics, a meta-analysis publisher, included data on more than 29,000 youths aged 18 and under. Data were collected from 46...
youth, kids, screen time, cellphones, health
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2022-31-09
Wednesday, 09 November 2022 04:31 PM
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