Organic NZ

An unhealthy GLOW

Screen technologies such as computers, tablets, iPads and smartphones are increasingly used in our schools and homes as learning tools. However, the hype and excitement about the new opportunities these devices are creating in teaching and learning has overshadowed their risks to children’s wellbeing.


Wellington environmental scientist Dr Mary Redmayne conducted research in 2009, and found that students who kept their cellphones by their bed at night were being woken on average 3–4 times nightly. The students reported feeling chronically tired, many suffering daily headaches. On sending her findings to the Ministry of Education and the 16 schools involved, Redmayne found “they didn’t want to know”.

During evening hours many adults use screens and Sleep disruption or deprivation can impair memory, learning and immune function. Redmayne suggests students avoid screens 1–2 hours before bedtime to get a good night’s sleep.

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