A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association has identified that a child’s weight is influenced on whether there is a television in their bedroom. The results found that kids who were without TVs in their rooms had significantly smaller waist circumferences and a lower chance of weight challenges.
Conducted by the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in New Hampshire, over 3,000 children, between the ages of 10 and 14, were surveyed over a four-year period. The scientists discovered a pattern of weight gain (average 0.4kg per year) when studying children with televisions in their bedroom.
The study was based on reports from parents as they monitored their children’s height and weight over the four year course. The children’s BMI was also calculated, according to age and sex-standardized BMI scores using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers.
The following sample questions were asked to each child:
• Do you have a TV in your bedroom?
• On school days, how many hours a day do you usually watch TV?
• On school days, how many hours a day to you usually spend playing video or computer games?
• How many movies to you watch on TV in a week?
The trials concluded that children without televisions in their bedrooms gained less weight than their peers with TV sets. Previous research in 2011 found that one in five UK children have a TV in their room, although this figure could have risen, and the study highlights the health benefits of a screen-free sleeping area. Having a room without the luxury of a television on demand means you are more inclined to go outside to play, keep active and develop stronger social skills, even it just means making the 12 step trip downstairs to watch your favourite show with family.
Researchers also say there could be a trend between eating more calorie-dense food and exposure to higher amounts of television due to suggestive advertising. There is also a likelihood that those without TVs in their bedroom had better and stronger sleeping patterns without the temptation of late night viewing, which helps regulate a healthy lifestyle.
A concluding statement from the study said: “Removing bedroom televisions may be an important step in our nation’s challenges against child weight issues. The findings are also a starting point into the research of smartphones and tablets and their association with health.”
Children used to the lifestyle of going without a TV in their room whilst growing up are less likely to repeat the actions in adulthood. There is always time for change if you are a parent or seeking a health change yourself. Getting rid of the TV is likely to improve many health-related issues such as benefiting your sleep pattern. The philosophy of going to bed when tired is thrown out the window with a television in the bedroom, being in bed for an extended period of time before sleep means you are less likely to get comfortable and prone to restless leg syndrome.
Your dreams are often affected by your last thoughts and any impacting imagery before you hit the hay. Reflecting on the day or what you have learnt is more productive then a late night horror movie. All electrical appliances attract dust, taking the TV out of the bedroom will serve a hygienic purpose to support a good nights rest whilst cutting down on feather duster time.
The health benefits of taking the television out of your bedroom also applies to tablets, computers and mobiles. Whilst watching a film in bed is notorious blissful, try to cut down on your bedroom-televison habits to help increase your health and setting an example to children.
How would having a TV-free bedroom benefit you?