One extra hour of TV per week can reduce a child’s muscle fitness and increase the size of their waistline, experts warn.
According to the American Academy of Pediactrics, children shouldn’t watch more than two hours of TV per day, the BBC reports.
A Canadian study, published in BioMed Central, monitored the TV watching habits of 1,314 children. The results show that 15% were actually watching more than 18 hours per week.
The researches said that watching this amount of TV at 4.5 years of age meant that by age 10, their waistline could be 7.6mm larger.
When it came to a standing jump test, the TV guzzlers didn’t fair well, either. Just one extra hour of TV a week was shown to decrease the distance a child could jump by 0.36cm.
Researchers suggest more studies are needed to prove that television is the culprit. According to the BBC, the study said, “habits and behaviours become entrenched during childhood and these habits might affect attitudes to sporting activites in adulthood.”
Study co-author Dr Linda Pagani, said, “The bottom line is that watching too much television – beyond the recommended amounts – is not good.”