This is a detrimental effect of the 2020 lockdowns. The average time spent in front of screens by 3-18 year olds has increased from 162 minutes per day (2h42) to 246 minutes (4h6) per day during the pandemic, according to an international study of 30,000 children of different nationalities. The authors explain that “to cope with these unprecedented disruptions to normal living conditions, many children and families have likely used digital devices to occupy their time during the pandemic.”

To reach these conclusions, researchers from the University of Calgary, Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute and University College Dublin relied on 46 studies covering the period from January 2020 to March 2022. They point out that 12-18 year olds showed the greatest increase in screen time with an average of 110 additional minutes per day.

The study points above all to an increase in the time spent in front of one’s computer or smartphone and explains it by their use in the school setting and the need to have interactions with loved ones, despite the deprivations of going out. However, she reminds that now that the confinements are behind us, it would be good to “moderate the daily use of these tools” and to “promote physical activity without a device” among children and adolescents.