Screen time over 2 hours daily can make your kids impulsive

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The WHO guidelines said that children between one and four years old should spend at least three hours in a variety of physical activities. Representational Photo: iStock
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Toronto: Nine-11 hours of sleep and no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day is what can save your children from becoming impulsive and make poorer decisions in life, find researchers.

Impulsive behaviour is greatly linked to sleep and screen time, found Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) at the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa.

"Impulsive behaviour is associated with numerous mental health and addiction problems, including eating disorders, behavioural addictions and substance abuse," said Dr Michelle Guerrero, lead author from CHEO Research Institute and University of Ottawa.

The paper, published in the journal Pediatrics, analysed data for 4,524 children from the first set of data of a large longitudinal population study.

In addition to sleep and screen time, the study also captured data related to physical activity - at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.

The ABCD study allowed Guerrero and her team to look at the three pillars of the movement guidelines against eight measures of impulsivity, such as one's tendency to seek out thrilling experiences, to set desired goals, to respond sensitively to rewarding or unpleasant stimuli, and to act rashly in negative and positive moods.

The results suggested that meeting all three pillars of the movement guidelines was associated with more favorable outcomes on five of the eight dimensions.

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