Overload of screen time causes depression in children
British children who spend most time in front of televisions and computer screens have lower self-esteem and greater emotional problems, according to a study published today by Public Health England.
The report found that excessive “screen time” – more than four hours a day – was linked to anxiety and depression and was responsible for limiting a child’s opportunity for social interaction and physical activity.
“The greater the time spent in front of the screen, the greater the negative impact on both behavioural and emotional issues relating to the child’s development,” said Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at PHE. Professor Fenton said that too much screen time limited a child’s opportunities for physical activity and face-to-face social interaction with friends and family, which are key factors in reducing childhood anxiety.