Toss the remote. Play catch instead.
Americans between the ages of 2 and 17 spend an average of 19 hours and 40 minutes watching TV each week.
Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the time your children watch television, play video games, or surf the web to no more than two hours per day. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend television viewing for children age 2 or younger.
What is Screen Time?
Screen time includes:
- Video games
- Hand-held devices such as Gameboys and Nintendo DS
Why Limit Screen Time?
Too much screen time can lead to problems! When you are spending time in front of a screen you are most likely not being physically active, and physical activity is important to maintain health. When you view more than just two hours each day, you are more likely to be overweight or obese as an adult.
Watching TV is also associated with increased snacking because you are more likely to pay attention to the screen than your body’s signals.
Limiting screen time helps to avoid the commercials and advertisements that too often influence kids to make unhealthy choices. Often foods that are advertised during kids’ TV programs are high in fat or high in sugar.
Unfortunately, most of the media you are exposed to does not show what people are like in the real world. Characters on TV are often shown with unrealistic bodies. Women are shown too thin and men are shown with larger-than-life muscles. Images are also edited on the computer to erase flaws and imperfections.
How Do I Do This?
Instead of spending time in front of a screen do something active.
Get going by trying one of these fun outdoor activities.
- Walking a dog
- Playing tag
- Dance to your favorite music
- Go to a gym
- Jump rope