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Reducing recreational screen media use should be a health priority to promote physical well-being and creative behaviour

Reviewer: Dr. Abid

Today we are living in a digital world. Adults and children are often found engaged with their digital devices spending most of their time on social media or watching television, and playing electronic games. Excessive recreational screen media use leads to sedentary life style and does not promote healthy physical activities, affects creative learning process and interfere our sleep patterns and can also affect our relationships.

However, a mindful and positive use of these devices can also enhance learning and creativity. Hence it would be practical that we should mindfully evolve with technology use, as it is has actually become a necessity of our times. Balancing recreational screen media use should be a health priority and we should learn to manage our online behaviour as it impacts our physical, mental and social wellbeing.

A study conducted to assess the effect of reducing recreational screen media use on physical activity and sleep

As children and adults spend large amount of their leisure time using screen media which may affect health and behaviour. Therefore, a clinical trial has been conducted to investigate the effect of reducing household recreational screen media use on physical activity and sleep in children and adults.

The study included 181 children and 164 adults from 89 families of 10 Danish municipalities. The participants were enrolled from June 6, 2019 to March 30, 2021. The participants were divided into two groups; the intervention group included 45 families (86 children, 82 adults); who were advised to limit recreational screen media use (maximum use of screen media ≤ 3 hours per week) for a 2-week period. On the other hand, the control or the comparison group included 44 families (95 children, 82 adults) were instructed to carry on as usual.

Results and conclusion of the study

As the study data was analyzed it was observed that recreational screen media use reduction intervention resulted in a substantial increase in children engagement in physical activity; however no significant differences were observed among the two groups for sleep outcomes.  Therefore, the researchers have suggested that balancing children’s recreational screen media use should be a public health priority as it increases their physical activity substantially.

American Heart Association in their video have highlighted the benefits and the need for physical activity that is required for the maintenance and promotion of health. Physical Activity Guidelines – Bing video

A simple exercise of daily walking has been stressed by health professionals – which helps bring the balance that is required to maintain healthy living as noted in the present video Walk for Health: The Best Medicine – Bing video

It is recommended that children get 60 minutes of physical activity every day as highlighted in the video  Physical activity – It All Adds Up (40 second ad) – Bing video.

Therefore to live better and longer requires building in activity or changing our approach to work that requires long hours of desk jobs. We hope this blog helps all to bring in physical activity into their lives.


Effects of Limiting Recreational Screen Media Use on Physical Activity and Sleep in Families With Children: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial


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