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Too Much Screen Time Causes Attention Problems in Class, Study Says

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Too much time playing video games leads to attention problems in school.The latest study on the way technology affects our youth claims that too much time in front of a screen translates into trouble focusing in the classroom. According to the Des Moines Register, an Iowa State University team studied the academic performance of elementary and college students, and found that kids who sat in front of a screen for more than two hours each day were twice as likely to display attention problems in the classroom. (Note: The national average is six hours.) The 13-month study involved 1,300 elementary school kids and 200 college students. Consistently, more time spent in front of a glowing screen meant more problems focusing in class. However, nobody can say exactly why this occurs. Researchers suggest it's likely that the brain grows accustomed to a ton of stimuli, like loud noises and flashing lights, and that it has a hard time focusing when they are absent.

Before you yank the power from your TVs and consoles, there were variables for which this study didn't account -- like different types of games, or environmental factors. For instance, we'd think that being absorbed in a first-person shooter conquest would cause more attention problems in a calculus class than, say, regularly playing 'Pong.' And kids who watch sitcoms are probably less easily distracted than those who plunk down in front of, say, 'Battling Seizure Robots.' If your youngster is starting to resemble a zombie (dark circles around the eyes, pale complexion, only communicates in grunts and moans), it probably isn't a bad idea to cap their screen time. [From: Des Moines Register]

SwitchedToo Much Screen Time Causes Attention Problems in Class, Study Says originally appeared on Switched on Tue, 06 Jul 2010 16:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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