Children are putting their future health at risk because of sedentary lifestyles dominated by televisions, smartphones and computers, researchers from Bristol University have claimed.

The study, of 63 ten and 11 year olds, looked at how many of them were using more than one screen at a time. It found that many used a second screen - usually a smartphone - when what they were watching was boring, during commercial breaks or when computer games were loading.

However, the researchers have warned that this could lead to an increase in obesity.

Dr Russ Jago from Bristol University said that many children often had access to at least five screens, with many of them being portable.

He said: "This meant children were able to move the equipment between their bedrooms and family rooms, depending on whether they wanted privacy or company.

"This suggests that we need to work with families to develop strategies to limit the overall time spent multi-screen viewing wherever it occurs within the home."

Posted by Robert Mair on 3.8.11 Please send your comments on this article to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com