We know that getting regular exercise and spending less time on screens is good for kids. So, it’s no surprise that researchers discovered that kids who exercised more and used technology less during the pandemic had better mental health outcomes. But how much better? The study included more than 500 parents of children aged 6 to 11 and more than 500 parent-adolescent pairs of kids aged 11 to 17.
Kids who engaged in less physical activity and logged more screen time had reduced mental health.
More importantly, the study found that better health behaviors were associated with better mental health. The lead author of the study said,
With physical activity, some of its benefits are physiological. But for kids, exercise also often includes a social aspect – they’re playing with others, whether it’s at recess, on the playground or in organized sports.
he impact of screen time could be found in what it replaces.
If kids and teens are spending excessive amounts of time in front of a screen, they may not be engaging in other healthy activities, including exercising, sleeping or spending time with others, all of which promote mental health.
Dr. Pooja Tandon, a researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital
Another striking finding was that “even the ones that said ‘I only do one day a week of 60 minutes of physical activity’ compared to those that did zero days, they were associated with better mental health scores.”
The findings were published in the journal JAMA Network Open.
© Copyright WLL, INC. 2021. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.