New school year: exercise, rest and disconnection

New school year: exercise, rest and disconnection

  • 06 SEP, 2019

Technology offers us tools to significantly improve our well-being if we use them properly. However, when we use without measure all the means that the digital ecosystem provides, the result can be harmful.

Now that a new school year begins, it is worth remembering some recommendations that pediatric and early childhood education experts make for little ones. Their happiness does not grow the more hours they spend in front of a screen, rather the opposite.

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents with school-age children limit the use of multimedia devices. Children need to exercise, rest and interact with others, so it is not convenient for them to spend the day in front of a screen. 

Also, the academy recommends establishing disconnection moments within the family routine, so children learn to disconnect when dinner time arrives, when it is time to share family time or when it is time for bed, because the screen can take time to sleep.

The cognitive abilities of children improve considerably if they properly manage the time they spend in front of a screen. The Canadian 24-hour Movement recommends that children between 8 and 11 years always spend less than 2 hours a day in front of a screen, do at least 60 minutes of physical activity and sleep between 9 and 11 hours. A study published in the scientific journal The Lancet shows that those who follow this pattern significantly improve their cognitive development.

Do not be afraid that children do not take advantage of all the time they have. Boredom can be a source of well-being. Already in 1930, the philosopher Bertrand Russell anticipated in his book ‘The conquest of happiness’ some keys to the welfare of children: “A child develops better when, like a young plant, it is allowed to rest on the ground. Many changes of place, a great variety of impressions, are not good for young people, and they will learn as they grow up to be unable to bear the fruitful monotony.”