Friday, April 04, 2014
Children who watch less TV are better behaved, slimmer and do better at school, researchers claim
Because they are middle class, not because of the amount of TV they watch
Children who spend less time in front of a television or computer screen get more sleep, are slimmer, do better at school and are better behaved, a new study has revealed.
Researchers found parental monitoring of the time children spend watching television, playing video games and being online can be associated with more sleep, improved school performance and better behaviour in children.
The new study, published in JAMA Network Journals, included figures from more than 1,300 schoolchildren from two communities in Iowa and Minnesota, in the U.S., along with data about the students provided by primary caregivers and teachers.
The figures were collected as part of an obesity prevention programme.
Study lead author Dr Douglas Gentile, of Iowa State University, said: ‘The results suggest that increased monitoring by parents reduced children's total screen time which results in children getting more sleep, doing better in school and having less aggressive behaviour.
‘The results suggest more sleep is associated with a lower body mass index.
‘More parental monitoring also resulted in less exposure to violence on television and in video games, which was associated with increased positive behaviour and decreased aggressive behaviour.’
He added: ‘Paediatricians, family practitioners, nurses and other health care professionals who encourage parents to be more involved in their children's media may be much more effective at improving a wide range of healthy behaviours than they realise.’
The findings support those of another recent U.S. study that showed children who spend a lot of time in front of screens are more likely to be obese.
The study, by researchers at the Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, showed the children of parents who do not monitor screen time are more likely to be overweight.
Another study, by researchers in Australia, revealed children who watch a lot of television have more family problems.
Researchers at Deakin University, in Melbourne, found that for every hour of screen time, the risk of family life being disrupted may be doubled.
They also found that these children have poorer emotional wellbeing.
Jogging could actually be BAD for you: Too much running increases risk of early death
Most people feel very virtuous, even slightly smug, after going for a jog. But new research suggests too much jogging could actually lead to early death. U.S researchers found that the people who live for the longest are those who do a moderate amount of exercise. This amounts to two to three hours of running a week, Health Day reports.
However, the research showed that people who do a lot of running, and those who do none, both have shorter lifespans.
The researchers are unsure why this is but say it does not seem to be related to heart health.
The researchers, from the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Lehigh Valley Health Network, in Pennsylvania, studied more than 3,800 runners.
The participants were both men and women and had an average age of 46.
Nearly 70 per cent of the participants said they ran more than 20 miles a week.
The researchers took into account what medication the people were taking and also whether they had high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a history of smoking.
They found that none of these factors could be used to explain why the people who ran the furthest had shorter lifespans.
Dr Martin Matsumura, who led the study, said he does not tell people not to go running on the basis of the research.
However, he does advise that people who do a lot of running should keep abreast of research into links between lifespan and excessive running.
‘What we still don't understand is defining the optimal dose of running for health and longevity,’ he told Health Day.
Dr James O’Keefe, who reviewed the research, believes the findings could be caused by ‘wear and tear’ on the bodies of people who do a lot of running.
He advises people to aim for about two and a half hours of slow to moderate paced running a week.
He added: 'If you want to run a marathon, run one and cross it off your bucket list.'
Posted by jonjayray at 12:24 AM