HealthDay News — Meeting recommendations on adequate sleep time and physical activity and limiting recreational screen time are associated with superior global cognition among children, according to a study published online September 26 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Jeremy J. Walsh, PhD, from the Ontario Research Institution in Ottawa, Canada, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study to examine the correlation between adherence to the Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth and global cognition. Data were obtained from 21 sites across the United States; complete movement behavior data were available for 4520 children aged 8 to 11 years.

The researchers found that the mean number of guidelines met was 1.1; 51, 37, and 18% of participants met the daily recommendations for sleep time (9 to 11 hours/night), screen time (2 hours or less), and physical activity (60 minutes or more), respectively. Overall, 71% of participants met at least 1 recommendation and 5% met all 3. There was a positive correlation between global cognition and each additional recommendation met (β=1.44). Associations with superior global cognition were found for participants who met all 3 recommendations, the screen time recommendation only, and both the screen time and sleep time recommendations, compared with meeting none of the recommendations (β=3.89, 4.25, and 5.15, respectively). 

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“These findings highlight the importance of limiting recreational screen time and encouraging healthy sleep to improve cognition in children,” the authors write.

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