Sport, sleep or screens: New app reveals the just right day for kids

Not too sport heavy, not too sleep deprived — finding the ‘just right’ balance in a child’s busy day can be a challenge. But while parents may struggle to squeeze in homework amid extracurricular commitments and downtime, a world-first app could provide a much-needed solution.

Developed by University of South Australia in partnership with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Healthy-Day-App is helping parents understand which combination of activities can best help their child’s mental, physical, and academic outcomes.

The study found that shifting 60 minutes of screen time to 60 minutes of physical activity resulted in 4.2 per cent lower body fat, 2.5 per cent improved wellbeing and 0.9 per cent higher academic performance.

Lead researcher, UniSA’s Dr Dot Dumuid says that the app will help parents and health professionals better understand the relationships between children’s time use, health, and academic outcomes.

“How children use their time can have a big impact on their health, wellbeing, and productivity,” Dr Dumuid says.

“We know that screens are not great for children’s wellbeing, so if they’re choosing to play video games at the expense of playing sport, it’s easy to guess the negative impacts effects on their health.

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