Children aged between 12- and 15-years-old are spending at least 14 hours a week in front of electronic screens, leading to increasing poor health, according to the latest report from the Queensland government.
The state government's Child Health Status 2011 Report indicated that the increasing time spent glued to television or computer screens, as well as handheld gaming devices, corresponded with a 2.6 per cent rise in obesity rates.
In the survey of more than 2,400 respondents, 43.3 per cent of children were also found to exceed recreational screen time recommendations of less than two hours a day.
Queensland Optometrist Association vice-president David Foresto told News Limited that the increasing screen time was putting pressure on children's eyesight.
"Extended periods of time using computers or screen-based entertainment does increase short-sightedness," Mr Foresto said yesterday (March 12).
"It's important to limit your screen use to less than an hour and spend adequate time outdoors."
A private health insurance policy may help to cover some of the costs for parents looking to book appointments with the optometrist for the whole family.