Kids Who Stay Active Without Screens Are Happier, Healthier

New research confirms the dangers of too much screen time for kids and teens: Those who play sports, take music lessons, or socialize with friends after school are happier and healthier than children who are glued to a screen during these hours.

“Screen time, where you are sitting and watching TV or playing computer games or scrolling social media for hours on end, is so detrimental because it’s sedentary and usually not engaging,” said study author Rosa Virgara. She and her colleagues looked at how nearly 62,000 kids aged 4 to 9 spent their time after school. These kids also completed questionnaires about their well-being.

Children who played video games, watched TV and used social media after school almost always had lower levels of well-being than their peers who took part in after-school activities, the study showed.