The impact of technology on children's physical activity
The impact of technology on children's physical activity

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

The impact of technology on children's physical activity

4 Why is controlling screen time important?

The general recommendation for screen time is approximately two hours a day, although there is no uniform global guidance on this in the way there is for physical activity (AAP, 2016). This suggested figure is based on research showing that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, difficulties at school, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. But why is it important to look at screen time and what connection does this have with a child’s physical activity levels? Activity 4 will explore this.

Described image
Figure 4 Girls playing on tablets

Activity 4 Screen time, physical activity levels and blood pressure

Timing: Allow 45 minutes

Read an article by the NHS titled ‘Over two hours screen time a day may raise a child’s blood pressure [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ’, which discusses some research that was published in the International Journal of Cardiology. Then note down the main conclusions presented in the article.


The study reported that high blood pressure existed in just over 10 per cent of children, which was double the predicted 5 per cent. It also reported that the risk of high blood pressure was 53 per cent more likely for children with low levels of physical activity and 28 per cent more likely for children with more than two hours of ‘screen time’ a day. Therefore, physical activity can be seen to have a greater influence on a child’s blood pressure than screen time.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371