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Despite the determination of many kids to watch TV and play online games constantly, research is now showing that children who spend too much time watching TV or playing on the computer are actually at an increased risk of psychological difficulties. According to the study, published online in the November issue of Pediatrics, out of a sample of 1,000 pre-teens, children who watched more than two hours of TV a day were 61% more likely to have increased psychological difficulties. Children who spent an equal amount of time on a computer for uses other than homework were associated with a similar 59% increased likelihood of psychological problems; the risk was highest for children who spent more than two hours a day doing both (OR 2.27, 95% CI 1.60 to 3.13). Children who additionally did not meet the recommended target of at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a day were at an even higher elevated risk. The researchers wrote, “These data support some restriction of screen entertainment use irrespective of levels of physical activity and indicate that guidelines for both sedentary and physical activity behavior are warranted.” Click here to read an article from BBC News Health that discusses this study more.

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