Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 24, 2012

Technology Plus a Child's Bedroom Equals Disaster

If you can think back to your days of being a youngster -- with some of us having to ponder longer than others -- and relieve memories of a life without complexity that was filled with playing and eating snacks, are you also struck by fond memories of sleepily falling into a trance driven by the harmony of the television program playing out in front of you? If so, you are lucky that you didn’t grow up to be fat and a virtual insomniac, according to researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada.

In a recent study first referred to by The Daily News, 3,400 students ranging from 10-11 years old who were mostly in the fifth grade (unless they were geniuses) revealed that at night they were lulled into “beddy-bye time” with the help of electronics. While half of the kiddies had a television, DVD player, or video game console in their rooms, nearly 21 percent had access to a computer and 17 percent had a phone that could use for late night chats with whomever they chose.

Interestingly, 57 percent of those polled admitted to turning to their phones, watching television, or playing video games after their parents happily told them it was bedtime. According to the survey, those adolescents who had at least one electronic device were 1.47 times more likely to be more overweight than kids with no devices in the bedroom. And with three devices in reach, that number appalling climbed to nearly 2.57 times. Further, the less sleep these whippersnappers received, the odds of them being healthy depleted, with rates of being overweight increasing by 28 percent and obesity hovering around 30 percent.

Image via Shutterstock

"If you want your kids to sleep better and live a healthier lifestyle, get the technology out of the bedroom," Co-author Paul Veugelers, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, said in a statement.

In a time in our country where a fast food establishment is on almost every corner, keeping technology away from your kids is probably the furthest thing from your mind. But, clearly it can make the difference between raising a healthy spawn or allowing problems to affect them in the years to come.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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