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October 25, 2012

Bedroom Technology a Gateway to Child Health Issues, Obesity

By Braden Becker, Copy Editor

It’s always been a concern among parents – kids watching TV aren’t watching their weight. But today is the age of new devices, and every time a new screen comes out that old worry has a renewed importance.

Kids who spend more time in front of a television have a higher susceptibility to obesity and other health issues, according to a report from Yahoo, and as TV takes new forms every year via smartphones and tablets, that reality sees more avenues.

Image via Shutterstock

Comparing sleep, diet and exercise among adolescents, “adding just one hour of extra sleep decreases the chances of being overweight or obese by around 30 [percent],” the source said of a group of Canadian researchers, who presumably understand that the convenience of this new technology becomes an alternative to a good night’s sleep and therefore a gateway to more health problems. 

Researchers surveyed about 3,400 students aged 9-11, half of whom claimed to have at least one electronic device with them in their bedroom.

“If you want your kids to sleep better and live a healthier lifestyle, get the technology out of the bedroom,” said Paul Veugelers, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Canada, who co-authored the final research report. 

Going to either extreme over household technology, however, has its problems. Kids whose teachers use wireless devices in the classroom, for example, may inspire them to follow suit when working at home. It behooves parents to nonetheless monitor what impact their own technology has on their kids, and what they can do to make sure it doesn’t interfere with an active lifestyle.

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