Many parents may not understand the problem behind too much television or video games. They may argue that they can be entertaining, educational and keep their kids out of trouble. However, too much of anything can lead to
negative consequences. To help parents understand the effects of excessive screen time share the following information with them.
Excessive screen time can lead to:
Lack of Family Time – Excessive screen
time limits communication and bonding. It is estimated that parents spend only 38.5 minutes each day in meaningful conversations with
Obesity – Engaging in too much screen time can lead to obesity by reducing the amount of
time for physical activity or by increasing the
amount of food consumed during sedentary
behaviors. An outcome of a two-year study
done by University at Buffalo researchers showed through a randomized trial, using a device to automatically restrict video-viewing time, that parents reduced their children’s video –time by an average of 17.5 hours a week and lowered body –mass index (BMI) significantly.(Source: www.buffalo.edu)
Poor School Performance – Ten or more hours, per week, spent viewing television has been shown to have a negative effect on academic achievement.
Unnecessary Exposure to Violence –
By the age of 18 the number of violent acts the average American child sees on television is 200,000. This number does not include violence in movies and video games.(Source: TV-Turnoff Network, 2006) Here are some tips to get your parents started in making positive changes:
Limit Screen Time – Plan a schedule with your child in advance for days and times they can watch television and play the computer or video games.
Know What Children are Viewing –
make sure the programs they are viewing are appropriate for their age.
Get Up and Get Active – Be a role model and encourage your family to be active. Engage in sports, recreational activity and work around the house or yard together.
Plan Family Adventures – Spend time together playing board games, going to the library, the park for a picnic, a museum, or the zoo.
National TV-Turn Off Week is April 21st- April 27th,
2008. For more information and other great ideas please visit the University of California Cooperative Extension website at http://
firstname.lastname@example.org and click on 2008 National TVTurnoff Week.BY:
SHARON K. JUNGE AMY NETEMEYER
University of California Cooperative Extension