The Impact of excessive screen use on child and adolescent health and wellbeing

Electronic screen use (such as watching television/DVDs, and using computers, video games and portable devices) is the most common leisure activity of youth in Australia and many other industrialised countries.A large majority of children and adolescents in Australia exceed the recommended maximum of two hours a day of screen use for leisure and that time spent in screen activities is increasing. Corresponding with the expanding screen-use culture of youth there has beena decline in the time children and adolescents spend playing outside and in contact with nature.These trends are concerning,as research indicates that excessive time using screens is associated with health and wellbeing adversity for children and adolescents, and time outside and in contact with nature is associated with increased physical activity and enhanced mental and physical health.This review provides an update of the negative impact of excessive use of new and existing screen technologies on the health and wellbeing of youth, and contrasts this with a summary of the benefits associated with time spent outside and in contact with nature.

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