Obesity is an epidemic in America that is putting our children and their future at risk. Contributing to childhood obesity is poor nutrition as well as a decrease in physical activity. A major contributing factor to this generation’s decrease in exercise is the amount of screen time they spend on computers, cell phones and in front of TVs.
Did you know?
- The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day on various media
- The average teenager spends more than 11 hours a day on media
- In the 12- to 17-year age range, 75 percent own cell phones
- 71 percent of children and teenagers have a television in their bedrooms
- 84 percent of children and teenagers have Internet access
Strategies to Help with Pulling the Plug on Screen Time to Get Kids Moving
- Have an open dialogue. Explain to your children that it’s important to sit less and move more in order to stay at a healthy weight. Discuss physical activities they may enjoy and activities for the whole family.
- Be a good role model. Now is the time to limit your screen time as you will lead by example for your kids.
- Set limits. Create a rule that limits screen time to two hours every day and enforce it.
- Remove electronics from bedrooms. Don’t put a TV or computer in your child’s bedroom. Kids who have TVs in their room tend to watch about 1.5 hours more TV a day than those that don’t.
- Make screen time and active time work together. When your child does spend time in front of the screen, have them do something active. Stretch, do yoga and/or lift weights. Or, challenge the family to see who can do the most push-ups, jumping jacks, or leg lifts during TV advertisements.
Implementing these simple tips and lifestyle changes can make a whole world of difference and lasting impact when it comes to screen time for kids and decreasing obesity.
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