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Australian Kids High On Television And Low On Sleep

A new study has now found that young boys in Australia spend more than a one-third of their waking hours, in front of the TV and as a consequence face an increased risk of sleep disorder//, obesity and other behavioral problems.

The study was conduced on nearly 1000 boys between the age of 10 to 13. Alarmingly, the study found that these boys on an average spend four hours watching TV or playing video games, which is twice greater than the recommended Australian health guidelines. The study which is published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health further highlights that children lose 10 minutes of sleep for every hour they spend in front of the television.

Children who watch TV or indulge in video games are more likely to be academically weak, aggressive and face problems with body image and social networks. According to the Australian and American guidelines, the safe level of television viewing is restricted to 2 hours per day. As little as 10% of those surveyed were found to satisfy the criteria.

The researchers pointed out to the seductive and sophisticated screen technology as the culprit. Although girls were found to watch less TV and play less video game compared to boys of their age, they were more likely to use the Internet and do homework.

'There are more and more types of screens that are around at the moment, for example, DVDs in cars and portable game consoles. There are simply more and more opportunities for kids to be sitting in front of a screen. One that’s come to our attention is texting. We didn’t count that in our screen time but we’re finding more and more kids who spend an hour a day texting,' remarked the author.

The presence or absence of a TV in the child’s room, the general rules imposed by a higher member of the family regarding TV viewing, and if the TV is on at home regardless of whether anyone is watching were three major determinants that influenced scre
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