Enjoy watching TV, do you?

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

Even though the television became available to the public in the late 1920s, it wasn’t until the 1950s that it became very popular. This image of an American family watching TV was taken in 1958.

I always tell my little brother to put the remote down, turn off the TV, and pick up a book, since reading is much better for his brain than TV will ever be. I even take some time to read with him, but he still manages to sneak in a hour or two during the day. He just won’t listen. Well, if he won’t listen to me, hopefully he will pay attention to Professor Linda Pagani from University of Montreal.

She knew doing well in kindergarten could affect the rest of a young student’s life. Just to show you the importance, a study in Tennessee found that students who succeeded in kindergarten were more likely to to go college. Also, the kids who performed well in these early school years were more likely to make more money as adults than their poor-performing classmates!

This information got Pagani thinking. How does a kindergartner’s TV activity affect school performance? She collected data from over 2,000 boys and girls in kindergarten to find out, and what she discovered was not pretty. Every extra hour of TV decreased vocabulary and math skills in the children! The TV time didn’t just affect their brains, either. Too much time in front the screen meant the kids were more likely to have bad hand-eye coordination and be picked on by bullies in school.

Just because TV is bad doesn’t mean you have to stay away from it completely, though. Unless you’re under 2 years old, you can watch a maximum of around 2 hours a day. “Every extra hour beyond that has a remarkably negative influence,” she pointed out.

If you are watching more than this every day, it would be in your best interest to cut down! It could be the difference between going to college or spending the rest of your life begging for money.

Featured image courtesy of Jerine Lay on Flickr.