Reducing Screen Time

Posted on November 16, 2020

With the advent of cell phones, tablets and iPads (not to mention, a host of other electronic devices!), we are spending more time in front of a screen and less time participating in the great outdoors. In fact, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, each day children ages 8 to 18 spend approximately 7.5 hours using various entertainment media: 4.5 hours watching TV, 1.5 hours on the computer and over an hour playing video games. Further, more than one in three kids have a computer with internet access, more than two out of three have TVs and half have video game players—all in the comforts of their bedrooms.

Sound familiar? Here are some tips to help reduce your family's screen time habits and encourage a more active, screenless lifestyle:

  • Set Limits. Make it a household priority—and rule—to limit screen time to two hours per day.
  • Create a Log. Want to know exactly how long each family member spends in front of a screen versus how often he or she exercises? Create a log and work together to make needed adjustments.
  • Make it Active. Try to make screen time as active as possible by watching programs that promote health and wellness, such as yoga, exercise or healthy cooking. The possibilities are endless!
  • Implement Electronic Shutdowns. Once a month, choose a day where the entire family goes a full 12-24 hours without any electronics. No video games, internet surfing, phone calls or texts or checking emails. No access whatsoever! Then plan some fun family time in the great outdoors, or pull out those board games, books or art projects to stimulate the mind. It’s a great way to reconnect to the ones we love while reducing our reliance on electronics to keep us entertained.