What is Screentime?
Screentime is the time spent in front of a screen. Anything that has a screen counts towards screentime, like televisions, computers, video games, and even cell phones. The more time that is spent in front of a screen, the less time is spent moving.
Why is screentime important:
Preschoolers with TVs in their bedroom watch an additional 4.8 hours of TV or videos every week.
1 in 4 children under the age of 2 years has a TV in their bedroom.
33% of Oklahoma high school students watch 3 or more hours of TV per day on weekdays.
19% of Oklahoma high school students play video games or use computers for non-school work 3 or more hours per day on weekdays.
Fortunately, there are some great resources available to help reduce screentime.
A Real life event...
Several partners teamed up to sponsor a day-long Game On! The Ultimate Wellness Challenge event to celebrate Screen Time Turn Off week. Strong and Healthy Oklahoma staff as well as The Oklahoma Action for Healthy Kids Team and Dairy Max partnered with the University of Central Oklahoma and Edmond Public Schools. Participating schools received ReCharge! Energizing After-School kits with activities and educational information. Former University of Oklahoma and Tennessee Titans linebacker Rocky Calmus started the morning activities with information on staying fit and healthy throughout the life span. The fourth and fifth graders participated in active games including fencing with Styrofoam noodles, egg spoon races and step aerobics.
Student event evaluation revealed that 97% of the fourth and fifth graders participating found the activities fun, 77% said they would do some of the activities at home and 90% indicated they would decrease their screen time after participating in the event.
Conduct your own event by using these tools!
Kaiser Permanente provides a useful toolkit designed to reduce children's screentime at home. It includes helpful resources and tips plus a helpful screentime tracking log.
Need more ideas? Here are some additional steps to reduce your child's screentime.