Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

China’s gaming and homework restrictions increase kids’ physical activity

Published 30 May 2024
- By Editorial Staff
In 2021, China adopted new regulations on children and their gaming, among other things.

China’s rules on children’s gaming, along with restrictions on homework, have led to increased physical activity, reducing children’s sedentary time by an average of 46 minutes per day.

In 2021, citizens under the age of 18 were banned from playing online games on weekdays, and weekend gaming was limited to three hours. A law has also been passed to limit the amount of homework teachers can assign and the times of day they can teach.

Researchers from the University of Bristol analyzed data from 7,000 schoolchildren in China, comparing behavior before and after the new rules were implemented, and found that children’s sedentary time decreased by 13.8% per day, or 46 minutes.

– The results are exciting as this type of regulatory intervention across multiple settings has never been tried before, researcher Bai Li said in a press release.

“Very different approach.”

China also recommends limiting homework, with younger children having less than 60 minutes of homework per day and older students having a maximum of 90 minutes. Since the new rules were adopted, students were nearly three times more likely to meet the guidelines. Children were also reported to have 10 minutes less screen time per day after the new rules were implemented. They were also 20% more likely to have less than two hours of screen time per day.

In contrast, time spent on cell phones, consoles and tablets did not decrease, but the decrease was mainly in TV and computer use.

Typically, governments issue advice to parents encouraging them to change their behavior, as Norway has done with its recommendations on screen time for children. The researchers argue that the responsibility for enforcing the rules has now shifted to game companies and schools.

Traditionally, children and their parents or carers have been guided with education and encouraged to make behavioral changes themselves, which hasn’t really worked, Li said. This very different approach appears to be more effective, because it is aimed at improving the environment in which children and adolescents live, supporting a healthier lifestyle.

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