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Limiting screen time among children is linked to enhanced mental performance

Children who spend less than two hours each day watching television or using the computer have improved cognition, according to a US study

A child using a laptop

New research published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health has highlighted a link between less than two hours of screen time each day and enhanced cognition in children.

The US study reported on observations of a group of 4500 children between the ages of eight and 11.

Alongside limited daily screen use, children who met physical exercise and sleep recommendations also had improved levels of cognition.

The research found that only one in 20 children in the study group met the full recommended guidelines on sleep, exercise and screen time.

On average, children spent 3.6 hours each day on recreational screen time.

Less than half of children (37%) met the screen time recommendation of less than two hours each day.

Only one in five children (18%) met the exercise guidelines of at least an hour of physical activity each day, while 51% of children met the recommended sleep time of between nine and 11 hours.