For many of us, limiting our computer usage and getting awayfrom all screens can be a challenge. That means television (TV)screens, computer monitors, and even the handheld devices we usefor checking email, listening to music, watching TV, and playingvideo games on the go.
Health experts say screen time at home should be limited to twohours or less a day, unless it’s work- or homework-related.The time we spend in front of the screen could be better spentbeing more physically active (increasing our ENERGY OUT), andsetting a good example for our families.
When it comes to kids—parents and caregivers should notonly set a good example, they need to set rules that limit kids’ computer time, TV watching,and video game playing to reduce how much time is spent infront of a screen. Research by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation showsthat when parents set rules AND enforce them, TV-watching timedrops by two hours a day.
Unfortunately, the same study also reveals that setting andenforcing rules is a challenge for many parents/caregivers:
- 53 percent of all 8- to 18-year-olds said their parents didn’t set TV-watching rules
- 46 percent said they have rules but less than half (20 percent) say they’re enforced
Other Screen-Time Statistics
Source: Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, "Generation M: Media inthe Lives of 8–18 Year Olds” 2005 Survey)
- Nearly one-third of 8- to 18-year-olds have computers in their bedrooms
- Two-thirds have TVs and video game players in their bedrooms
- Those with bedroom TVs spend almost 1½ hours (or more) in front of the screen than those without TVs
- Every day, on average, 8- to 18-year-olds spend about:
Four hours watching TV, DVDs, etc.
Over one hour on the computer
Fifty minutes playing video games
Screen Time Reduction Tools
The following tools may help you and your family reduce yourscreen time and increase your ENERGY OUT. For more information,
- We Can! Reduce Children's Screen Time Log (230 KB): Use this resource to track how much time your children spend watching TV, playing video games, or sitting in front of a computer monitor.
Stories you can share with family, friends, and/or your local media:
More Screen Time Equals Less Activity Time | PDF(152 KB)
Less TV, Fewer Videos Help Keep Weight In Check | PDF(684 KB)
Menos TV y Videos Ayudan a Mantener el Peso (Spanish) | PDF(680 KB)
An audio news release about “Reducing ScreenTime” that was broadcast on the radio: MP3(1 MB)