Many children and young people spend more time in front of the screen than at school or in a sports club these days. The effects of media consumption on health are therefore also an issue for pediatricians and adolescent psychologists. However, research is still in its infancy. However, initial connections between media abuse and health symptoms have already been demonstrated in several studies. These provide interesting results that need to be considered in the future.
Effects of media consumption on children’s health
In practice, the health consequences of excessive media exposure are often associated with a lack of exercise. A lack of exercise reduces physical fitness and promotes obesity.
Other long-term effects of media consumption can include eye discomfort, headaches, and back pain. The eyes in particular are affected when playing video games, for example. Some ophthalmologists speak of the so-called “digital disease”. The reason is eye fatigue. The suffering can appear after two hours in front of the screen. The lenses of the eyes lose their elasticity and have to work harder to see things nearby clearly. Digital eye overload has now developed into a serious health problem, and symptoms such as redness, dry eyes, and blurred vision are no longer uncommon.
Also, insomnia and lack of sleep can be caused by excessive media consumption. Often people watch TV or play on the computer well into the night. The consequences are problems falling asleep and reducing the dream phases necessary for recovery.
Psychological effects of media consumption
Increasing media consumption also has psychological consequences; children and young people are particularly at risk here. Regular media consumption crowds out other activities with peers and family members.
Above-average media use can limit social acceptance through unrealistic representations since unrealistic body images are often propagated in the media. Your own body satisfaction decreases after looking at these pictures. In addition, nutrition and eating behavior are often negatively influenced by advertising in the media.
Sport as a balance to media consumption
Media consumption will continue to advance in the next few years, so sport is important to counteract the increase in physical inactivity.
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