Tired of trying to get the kids away from the screen/computer/gaming console (or all three)? A new study published today by Dr. Russell Jago in the BioMed Central Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity assessed the viewing patterns on 10-11 year olds in the UK. Data revealed that most kids engage in multi-screen viewing instead on using just one media format. Most often, the television was one media included, however tv viewing was not the dominant activity.
Many studies have linked the sedentary lifestyle of today to increased body mass, obesity, and significant health issues. While previous attempts to limit viewing by children has focused on removing the tv from the bedroom, new technology makes access to viewing easier. Children are able to watch tv, use their laptops, gaming consoles or smartphones from anywhere and at any time. According to this study most 10-11 year olds are multi-tasking their tv, DS, texting, and gaming activities. Such multi-tasking arises from boredom (during advertisements on tv, impatience with the loading time for computers, or disinterest in the programming), but also results from texting or using facebook to talk with friends. Identifying and understanding such practices will help to devise new methods to decrease complications associated with sedentary lifestyles.