Play Healthy

Screen Time

“Tame the tube and turn on the FUN!  Go to the park!  Play a board game!  Ride a bike!  Take a walk!  Experience nature!”  Amy Splittgerber   Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina

We all love our smart phones and portable music and gaming devices. However, recent research shows us that we need to limit so-called screen time (TV, computer, video games, texting) to less than 2 hours a day. The dangers of excess screen time for kids include not only increased risk for obesity, but also increased psychological stress, regardless of levels of physical activity. Learn more.

playagainThe average child spends 90% of the day indoors. Children watch about 3 hours a day watching TV; adults over 65 average 7 hours a day. Click here for a list of alternative activities to try to break your habit. Want to spend your free time in the kitchen creating a healthy meal to celebrate? Click here for family friendly recipes.  Check out this movie called Play Again about nature deficit disorder, the consequence of too much time indoors.  Click the picture to watch the preview.

Keeping screen time separate from eating time as well as from sleeping is critical for good health habits. Tips to reduce screen time – include setting limits and having kids be active while they watch!  Watching TV while you eat will encourage you not only to eat more during the screen time, but even more later in the day – because you have a diminished memory of what you ate while distracted. Read More

Research shows that we need to give electronic devices their own bedtime!  “Children and teens who spend time watching television, playing video games or using the computer right before bedtime are likely to take longer to fall asleep.” Screen time before bed may result in an hour less of sleep per week. Read More   If kids are using an electronic device – consider programs that encourage more activity like the Wii. 

Screen Free Week is an annual event where families pledge to turn off the TV and  turn on life!  Mark your calendars for April 29-May 5, 2013!

**Don’t forget to take every opportunity to discuss Internet safety with your children. Need help? Check out this kid friendly site!

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