According to the latest data from the Nielsen Company, kids are watching more than 28 hours of television every week. Add in video games, cell phones and computers, and kids spend nearly eight hours a day consuming media.
The consequences? Less time playing and exercising outside.
Lack of exercise can lead to obesity, diabetes and ADHD. And lack of unstructured time spent outdoors can inhibit the growth of problem-solving skills, self-reliance, creativity and connection to the natural world.
Here are a few simple tips on reducing your kids’ screen time:
- Talk to Your Family. Tell your kids it's important to sit less and move more to stay healthy.
- Set a Good Example. Limit your own screen time to no more than two hours per day, and set a house rule limiting everyone to same.
- Log Screen Time vs. Active Time. Track how much time your family spends watching TV and how much physical activity they get. Then post your log where everyone in the family can see.
- Make Screen Time = Active Time. Stay active while watching TV. Stretch, do yoga or lift weights. Or, challenge the family to see who can do the most calisthenics during ads.
- Create Screen-Free Bedrooms. Don’t put a TV or computer in your child's bedroom. Kids with TVs in their room tend to watch about 1.5 hours more TV a day.
- Make Meal Time = Family Time. Turn off the TV during meals. Better yet, remove the TV from the eating area!
- Don't Use TV Time as Reward or Punishment. This makes TV seem even more important to children.
Exercising with a family member, friend or a group can help make it more fun, interesting, and keep you motivated to continue with a regular exercise routine.ShareThis