TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (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 Sept. 26 in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health.

Jeremy J. Walsh, Ph.D., 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 4,520 children aged 8 to 11 years.

The researchers found that the mean number of guidelines met was 1.1; 51, 37, and 18 percent of participants met the daily recommendations for sleep time (nine to 11 hours/night), screen time (two hours or less), and physical activity (60 minutes or more), respectively. Overall, 71 percent of participants met at least one recommendation and 5 percent met all three. 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 three 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).

“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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