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Setting Screen Time Limits Means Happier, Healthier Kids

Children with smartphone
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

It's not news that screen time is at an all-time high. Kids are watching way too much television, playing on their phones or sitting in front of computers for prolonged periods of time. While we've long known that too much screen time leads to a number of health problems in children, new research has proven that it goes well beyond that.

The study, which was published in JAMA Pediatrics, discovered that children whose parents limited their tech time got better sleep, better grades, experienced less aggressive behavior and lowered their risk of obesity.

While fighting about which shows they can watch or how much more time they can spend on the computer chatting with friends may seem futile, the study proves that your efforts do pay off, ultimately.

Specifically, researchers looked into the media habits of more than 1,300 children. The psychologists collected data about screen time limits, exposure to violent media, bedtimes, behavior, grades and height and weights data at the beginning of the study and then seven months later.

The results showed that limiting screen time was helpful and that "even tiny controls can make an impact." In other words, baby steps count. First thing you can do is practice what you preach: Start cutting down on your own screen time. Don't look at your phone during dinner.

It's the little things that bring results before you know it.

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