Have you ever paid attention to how much TV you watch, or possibly your children? Statistics show older adults can spend as much as 2-3 hours a day watching TV. Now contrast that to our children who are now growing up have computers at school, do homework at home on computers, have cell phones they are checking YIKES!!! That is alot of screen time.
So when we are on our screens a couple of things happen
- We are more sedentary which decreases Brain derived Neurotrophic factor (BDNF) this impairs neurogenesis and neuroplasticity in the brain (the wiring of connections in our brain)
- We become disconnected with nature
- Prefrontal cortex of our brain is affected which is the area that controls our thoughts, emotions and actions through connections
- Using social media as a form of gratification
- Decreased creativity
- Increased social isolation
- Sedentary activity can lead to Insulin resistance and weight gain
- Disrupted circadian rhythms leading to poor sleep
- Impaired academic performance
- Lower self-confidence
There is also evidence that use of screen time TV’s/ computers in preschool children can affect white matter in the brain which is where communication to other parts of the body take place including language skills.
So although technology is a big benefit, it becomes vitally important for not only our younger children’s developing brains but for all of us to limit screen time. Take time daily during your work and school schedule to step away from your screens. During meal times put down phones and engage in conversation. It is summer and all the more the importance of keeping our connection with nature alive!
I was recently interviewed on a Podcst “The Art of Healthy Retirement with Nancy Schwartz” With the work I do on Brain Health please see below and feel free to share with others.