How to make children happy - healing practice

Effects of activity and screen time on children

Carrying out extracurricular activities greatly increases the well-being of children. The type of activity does not seem to play a major role. For example, physical education or music lessons can help children feel happier and more satisfied. Conversely, spending time on social media or video games reduces well-being.

A new study involving experts from the University of South Australia has examined whether children's extracurricular activities vary by socio-economic status and whether there are associations between extracurricular activities and the well-being of low-income children. socioeconomic status.

The results can be found in the English-language journal "BMC Pediatrics".

Children's extracurricular activities have been identified

The study analyzed data from 61,759 school children in grades four to nine. The average number of days per week that children participated in extracurricular activities from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. was determined.

Well-being was determined by researchers using factors such as happiness, sadness, worry, engagement, perseverance, optimism, emotion regulation, and life satisfaction.

Children spend a lot of time in front of the screen

He found that during a school week, most kids watch TV for four days and spend their time on social media for three days, according to the team. This time spent in front of the screen of technical devices can affect the mental and physical health of children.

Negative screen time for well-being

According to the researchers, it does not matter whether children play on computers and video consoles, watch television or spend their time on social networks. All activities in front of the screen of technical devices have a negative impact on the well-being of children.

"It's interesting that you think it's lack of physical activity that's the cause, but our research shows that doing homework or reading - both sedentary activities - contribute positively to well-being, so it's something different,” she added. . Virgin pink.

“In fact, we found that children's well-being was higher when they participated in extracurricular activities, even when they already reported being happy. It shows that we need to find ways to encourage children of all ages and backgrounds to engage in activities that take them away from TVs, computers and mobile devices."

Influence of socio-economic background

The study also revealed clear differences between children from low and high socioeconomic backgrounds.

Children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds who exercised frequently were 15% more likely to be optimistic, 14% more likely to be happy and satisfied with their lives, and 10% more likely to regulate their emotions well.

Poor well-being from social media and video games

In contrast, children who played video games and used social media almost always had lower well-being. According to the team, up to 9% of children were less likely to be happy, 8% were less optimistic and 11% were more likely to give up on certain things.

“Children who were at higher risk tended to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, indicating a clear need for greater support in these areas,” Dr. Virgare said.

create awareness of the problem

Even though most children grow up with smartphones, video consoles, and computers, families need to be aware of screen time issues. And according to experts, children should be encouraged to engage in other activities that don't involve spending time in front of the screen of technological devices.

"Helping children feel good about their personal well-being is of the utmost importance in today's dangerous environment," study author Dr. Rosa Virgara said in a statement. Press.

This is particularly important for children of primary school age, "but equally important for adolescents who are facing a range of physical, social and emotional changes", adds the expert. (as)

Author and source information

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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.


BMC Pediatrics: The relationships between the well-being of school children, socioeconomically disadvantaged people and extracurricular activities: a cross-sectional study (published 2022-05-21), BMC PediatricsUniversity of South Australia: Sports, not screens: the key to happyger, healthier children (published 21/05/2022), University of South Australia

Important Note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.