This week is Screen Free Week, a week when students and their parents turn off the TV, video games, computers, smart phones, and tablets, and find healthier ways to have fun.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, kids ages 8-18 now spend, on average, a whopping 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day, 4.5 of which are spent watching TV. Over a year, that adds up to 114 full days watching a screen for fun. That’s just the time they spend in front of a screen for entertainment. It doesn’t include the time they spend on the computer at school for educational purposes or at home for homework.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. That doesn’t have to mean joining a sports team. Walking the dog, riding a bike around the block, or dancing in the living room all count as physical activity. CDC has two infographics related to physical activity. The first infographic is interactive, provides screen time data for kids on average each day, offers physical activities ideas, and tips for parents. A second infographic focuses on student grades and physical activity. Kids who perform better in school are more likely to be physically active on a regular basis.

If we cut back on entertainment screen time for our kids – and for ourselves – we are able to make more time for physical activity and help reduce both childhood and adult obesity.

Want to know more?

Screen Time vs. Lean Time

Burn to Learn

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The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend that children and adolescents aged 6-17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day.
Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit. Learn More!

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