Washington: Parental neglect is turning kids into couch potatoes, rather than the much maligned TV, say two new studies.
Oregon State University researchers examined how parenting style - whether a strict but loving parent or a less-involved and more permissive parent - was tied to their children`s sedentary behaviour.
Overall, they found that children who had neglectful parents or ones who weren`t home often were getting 30 minutes more screen time on an average each week day, the journal Early Child Development and Care reports.
David Schary from Oregon, who co-authored both studies, found that all the children aged two to four years were spending more than several hours every day.
"Across all parenting styles, we saw anywhere from four to five hours a day of sedentary activity," he said, according to an Oregon university statement.
Bradley Cardinal, professor of social psychology of physical activity at Oregon, said sedentary behaviour goes against the natural tendencies of most children.