Monday, July 5, 2010

Limiting Video Games

An Iowa State University study shows kids who watch television and play video games for more than four hours a day are more likely to have attention problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids have less than 2 hours of television/video game time each day. The kids followed by this study averaged more than four hours per day. I don't think my kids watch/play more than two hours right now. They're outside most of the day. But I am sure my oldest exceeds two hours a day during the winter. He gets so bored. And I think he naturally has a short attention span. That doesn't help!

Why does this happen? Douglas Gentile, ISU associate professor of psychology said, "Brain science demonstrates that the brain becomes what the brain does. If we train the brain to require constant stimulation and constant flickering lights, changes in sound and camera angle, or immediate feedback, such as video games can provide, then when the child lands in the classroom where the teacher doesn't have a million-dollar-per-episode budget, it may be hard to get children to sustain their attention." Here's the full story from Iowa State University:

FROM NBC: Kids who regularly play video games may be more likely to develop attention disorders. Researchers at Iowa State University studied over 13 hundred elementary school students -- looking at their video game and television habits. They also studied two hundred college students. They found children who spent more than two hours a day in front of the screen were two times more likely to have attention problems.

The same link was found among college students -- suggesting playing video games as kids can have a lingering effect.
More than 27% of kids age 9 to 15 exceeded the recommended limit of screen time. Researchers found boys, african american children and kids from lower income families watched more t-v than other populations.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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