TUESDAY, Nov. 2, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — As teenagers dramatically stepped up their display time throughout COVID-19 lockdowns, their well-being took a success, a brand new examine reveals.

Leisure display time amongst U.S. teenagers doubled from earlier than the pandemic to almost eight hours per day in the course of the pandemic, according to the report. And this estimate does not embrace time spent on screens for distant studying or schoolwork, so the overall was possible a lot greater, the researchers mentioned.

“Extra display time was linked to poorer mental health and better stress amongst teenagers,” mentioned lead researcher Dr. Jason Nagata, an assistant professor of pediatrics on the College of California, San Francisco.

“Though social media and video chat can be utilized to foster social connection, we discovered that teenagers reporting greater display use felt much less social help in the course of the pandemic,” Nagata added.

The findings stem from a survey of greater than 5,000 U.S. adolescents, principally 12- and 13-year-olds.

Nagata’s crew checked out time teenagers spent taking part in video games, texting, utilizing social media, video chatting, searching the web, and watching or streaming films, movies or tv exhibits.

Whereas display time elevated for all respondents, Black teenagers, Hispanic teenagers and people from lower-income households spent extra time on screens than others, the survey confirmed. Nagata mentioned which will owe to components reminiscent of lack of cash for different kinds of exercise or lack of entry to protected, outside areas.

Whatever the causes for the rise, mother and father ought to stay watchful, Nagata mentioned.

“Though display time can have necessary advantages for training in the course of the pandemic, mother and father ought to attempt to mitigate opposed psychological well being dangers from extreme display time,” he mentioned.

Nagata steered mother and father speak to their teenagers typically about display time and develop a household media plan. This might embrace setting limits, encouraging screen-free time and avoiding screens earlier than bedtime.

“Dad and mom ought to act as function fashions for his or her youngsters with their very own display time practices,” Nagata mentioned.

Nonetheless, he is not hopeful that display time will wane because the pandemic does.

“Because the pandemic subsides, teenagers will have the ability to transition a few of their faculty and social actions from screens to in particular person,” Nagata mentioned. “Nevertheless, due to the elevated availability of digital or hybrid choices, display utilization is more likely to stay greater than pre-pandemic ranges.”