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TV and Electronic Devices in Kids Bedroom Linked to Obesity and Poor Sleep

Published: 2012-10-23 - Updated: 2021-07-09
Author: University of Alberta | Contact: ualberta.ca

Synopsis: If you want kids to sleep better and live a healthier lifestyle then keep technology out of the bedroom. A province wide survey of Grade 5 students in Alberta showed that as little as one hour of additional sleep decreased the odds of being overweight or obese by 28 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Students with access to one electronic device were 1.47 times as likely to be overweight as kids with no devices in the bedroom. That increased to 2.57 times for kids with 3 devices, with similar results reported among obese children.

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Main Digest

Children who bask in the nighttime glow of a TV or computer don't get enough rest and suffer from poor lifestyle habits, new research from the University of Alberta has shown.

Other Sleep Disorders Publications (32)

A province wide survey of Grade 5 students in Alberta showed that as little as one hour of additional sleep decreased the odds of being overweight or obese by 28 percent and 30 percent, respectively. Children with one or more electronic devices in the bedroom - TVs, computers, video games and cellphones - were also far more likely to be overweight or obese.

"If you want your kids to sleep better and live a healthier lifestyle, get the technology out of the bedroom," said co-author Paul Veugelers, a professor in the School of Public Health, Canada Research Chair in Population Health and Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions Health Scholar.

Veugelers, director of the Population Health Intervention Research Unit that works with the Alberta Project Promoting active Living and healthy Eating (APPLE Schools), said the research is the first to connect the dots on the relationship between sleep, diet and physical activity among kids.

Nearly 3,400 Grade 5 students were asked about their nighttime sleep habits and access to electronics through the REAL Kids Alberta survey.

Half of the students had a TV, DVD player or video game console in their bedroom, 21 percent had a computer and 17 percent had a cellphone. Five percent of students had all three types of devices.

Some 57 percent of students reported using electronics after they were supposed to be asleep, with watching TV and movies being the most popular activity. Twenty-seven percent of students engaged in three or more activities after bedtime.

Researchers found that students with access to one electronic device were 1.47 times as likely to be overweight as kids with no devices in the bedroom. That increased to 2.57 times for kids with three devices, with similar results reported among obese children.

More sleep also led to significantly more physical activity and better diet choices, researchers found.

Co-author Christina Fung noted that children today are not sleeping as much as previous generations, with two-thirds not getting the recommended hours of sleep per night. In addition to healthy lifestyle habits, a good night's sleep has been linked to better academic outcomes, fewer mood disorders and other positive health outcomes, she said.

"It's important to teach these children at an earlier age and teach them healthy habits when they are younger."

The research was published in September by the journal Pediatric Obesity, in an early online release. The REAL Kids Alberta evaluation was funded through a contract with Alberta Health.

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TV and Electronic Devices in Kids Bedroom Linked to Obesity and Poor Sleep | University of Alberta (ualberta.ca). Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.

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Cite This Page (APA): University of Alberta. (2012, October 23). TV and Electronic Devices in Kids Bedroom Linked to Obesity and Poor Sleep. Disabled World. Retrieved May 25, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/sleepdisorders/poorsleep.php