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Less screen time means better teen mental health, study says

It’s especially true for girls, but researchers don’t know why.
Teens who spend more time in extracurricular activities and less time in front of screens have...
Teens who spend more time in extracurricular activities and less time in front of screens have better mental health, a study says.(Source: CNN)
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 11:40 AM EST
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(CNN) – A new study finds teens who spend more time in extracurricular activities and less time in front of screens have better mental health.

The study used self-reported data from more than 28,000 seventh grade students between 2014 and 2018 in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

It found a positive effect on mental health in adolescents who spent less than two hours staring at screens after school instead of spending their time in sports or other extracurriculars.

It’s especially true for girls, but researchers don’t know why.

“We do know that some forms of screen time can be beneficial, like maintaining connections with friends and family members online if we cannot see them in person, but there are other types of screen time that can be quite harmful,” the study’s lead author Eva Oberle said.

“There are many nuances that are not well understood yet and that are important to explore.”

The findings come as thousands of kids and teens are staying at home more during the coronavirus outbreak.

The lead author notes that due to the pandemic, finding extracurricular activities isn’t as easy as it used to be, but notes that finding something safe for teens to do is still important.

The University of British Columbia study was published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

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