We just learned the outdoors improves eyesight in children--now comes news that letting your kids stay inside watching TV all day can actually make them depressed.
In a recent study published in the February issue of The Archives of General Psychiatry, five medical professionals examined the affects of media--mainly television--on children of adolescent age.
The results (which approach "well, duh" territory) found that television exposure in adolescence is "associated with increased odds of depressive symptoms in young adulthood, especially in young men."
The study followed 4,142 non-depressed adolescents over seven years. Researchers found that only 6-7 percent of adolescents who watched only a few hours of TV per day got depressed. That number jumped to 17 percent for kids who watched for more than nine hours a day.
Lessons learned? Sitting all day on the couch isn't great for you, and it makes you sad. So if you don't want your kid's brains to turn into pop-cultured mush (or their eyes to just plain fall out), turn off the tube, lace up their boots, and get them marching outside.