June 3rd, 2020

// Survey: Children’s Screen Time Above Recommended Amount During COVID-19

Survey: Children’s Screen Time Above Recommended Amount During COVID-19

New international poll reveals over 60% of children spend more than the WHO-recommended hours on screens under quarantine.

  • Compared to the recommended 2 hours per day, children under 18 years old spend at least 3 hours on screens during quarantine on average.
  • 21% of parents report that their children spend over 6 hours on screens.
  • Side-effects of too much screen time include childhood obesity, sleep problems, negative behavioural and emotional impacts, and lower academic performances. 
  • 43% of parents reported a decrease in children’s off-screen activities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • More than 50% of parents agree that children have experienced signs of anxiety, sadness, and worry as a result of self-isolation.

Berlin, Germany, May2020 -  Interactive audioplayer specialist Tonies.com has released a new dataset revealing how the COVID-19 outbreak influenced children’s screen time habits and sentiments. With experience providing children with off-screen entertainment options, Tonies.com has helped children find an alternative to screens by innovating audiobooks and storytelling. As the pandemic continues to shut down schools and limit children’s leisure activities, parents have relaxed screen time rules to maintain a sense of normalcy at home. However, imbalanced media uses for children comes at the cost of an impaired attention span and cognitive development. Restricted activities can also bring out feelings of sadness, anxiety, irritability, and frustration. To better understand how children today are coping with the coronavirus outbreak, Tonies.com has conducted a poll asking parents about the change in children’s digital habits and emotions.

How the study was conducted:

An anonymous opinion poll was sent to respondents over the age of 18 in the European Union, United Kingdom, and United States between 21 April 2020 - 10 May 2020 GMT +1. Parents were asked a series of key questions on their child’s recent behavior pattern under quarantine pertaining to screen consumption, physical activity, and emotional well-being. 

The questions are as follows:

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statements: Compared to BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic started (13 March, 2020)...

The children living with me have been eating less healthily
The children living with me spend more time watching TV or other screens
The children living with me spend more time playing (NOT computer games)
The children living with me have shown more signs of anxiety, worries and/or sadnessRespondents were given the opportunity to respond on a 5-point scale ranging from: “Completely Disagree”, “Somewhat Disagree”, “Neither Agree nor Disagree”, “Somewhat Agree”, and “Completely Agree”. A separate question was asked concerning the number of hours children spent on screens:
During the last seven days, how much time do the children living with you spend daily watching any kind of screen- including TV, computer screens, mobile phones etc.Respondents were given the opportunity to respond on a 4-point scale ranging from: “0 Hours”, “0-3 hours per day”, “3-6 hours per day”, and “more than 6 hours per day”.

This is an excerpt from the full press release. Since this document exceeds the limit allowed via email, please visit this link to view the PDF version of the entire press release, including graphs and data tables: https://datawire.press/wp-content/uploads/Tonies/Tonies_Screentime_Study.pdf. If you prefer to receive the file as an attachment, let me know and I can send it to you in response.


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