Benefits of After-School Activities that Aren’t on Screens
By: Alvin Xu
Researchers from the University of South Australia (UniSA) discovered that children’s typical behavior increases when they participate in after-school activities, while it decreases when they play games or go on social media.
The study was published in the digital journal called BMC Pediatrics. The study analyzed data from 61,759 school students ages 4 to 9, calculating the average number of days in a week when they went to after-school activities from 3 pm to 6 pm. Scientists studied these behavior factors: happiness, sadness, worry, engagement, perseverance, optimism, emotion regulation, and life satisfaction.
The lead researcher of the UniSA, Dr. Rosa Virgara, said that the research highlighted a big need to encourage and persuade children to participate in activities after school rather than going on mobile devices. “The research showed even children who already reported feeling happy benefited from participating in after-school activities,” she said.
“Our study highlights how some out-of-school activities can boost children’s wellbeing, while others—particularly screens—can chip away at their mental and physical health, “she said. “Screens are a massive distraction for children of all ages. Whether children are gaming, watching TV, or on social media, there’s something about all screens that’s damaging to their wellbeing.” Some children were feeling happy participating in after-school activities, like playing sports with friends, drawing, painting, walking, biking, running, earning money by setting up a lemonade stand, and many more things!
I think screens have a massive effect on children! Children should be allowed screen time for one hour or less per day unless they are using their screens to do work. Too much screen time is bad for your eyes and behavior. You will feel dizzy or tired if you stare at screens too long, or even nauseous. Don’t use too much screen time!