Science and Tech


Too Much Screen Time And Not Enough Exercise For Teens

The CDC tracked young people and found 73 percent watched TV or used a computer for more than two hours a day, and less than half got enough exercise.
Posted at 10:51 PM, Jul 09, 2014

Well, this is kind of obvious. Ok, really obvious. New research says teens are still spending too much time in front of screens. (Via Eric Rice / CC BY NC SA 2.0)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked kids between the ages of 12 and 15 in nationwide studies and found 73 percent watched TV and used a computer for more than two hours a day — what health experts caution is excessive screen time.

As for the battle of the sexes, boys edged out the girls in TV consumption by five percent. Girls, on the other hand, point-and-clicked their way through computer screens 11 percent more than boys. (Via Getty Images)

And to no surprise kids from both genders that were overweight were more likely to ease into an excessive couch-potato routine compared to kids with normal weight. (Via Michael Cramer / CC BY NC 2.0)

Interestingly, the study didn't include time spent on smartphones, so who knows how much higher those numbers could have been. (Via Getty Images)

The American Academy of Pediatrics has known for awhile such excessive screen-time is linked to several health problems.

They include: higher blood pressure, increased cholesterol, obesity, attention problems, sleep loss and problems in school.

And dropping the age brackets even lower, medical experts say kids 2-years-old and under should avoid TVs and computers completely because the brain develops so rapidly in the first stages of life. (Via Yoshihide Nomura / CC BY ND 2.0)

A pediatrician who helped pen the AAP guidelines told HealthDay shes advises a "'healthy media diet.' ... It's all about moderation and choosing wisely." And another health professional suggests guardians, "create an environment where kids have choices other than TV and computers."​

The new study could also go hand-in-hand with a CDC study in May tracking physical activity in young people.

According to The New York Times, researchers found "less than a third of young peoples ages 12 to 18 are said to achieve recommended levels of physical activity." And a CDC health professional said the long-term health effects could be very severe.