Reducing TV/Internet time is good for the whole family
- Published: Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011
BLUE SPRINGS, Mo.–Are you hassling the kids every night to do their homework when they want to spend too much time watching TV, playing video games or surfing the Internet?
“Health experts say screen time at home should be limited to two hours or less a day unless it’s work- or homework-related,” says Saralee Jamieson, University of Missouri Extension human development specialist.
“Research shows clearly that when children, teens and adults watch more than an hour or two of TV per day, they are more likely to make unhealthy food choices and be less physically active,” Jamieson said. “Students who watch more than one or two hours of TV per day are less interested in school activities and have lower academic scores.”
Limiting time in front of video and computer screens, including handheld devices, can be a challenge for adults as well as children. “Set a good example yourself by keeping your own recreational screen time to less than two hours per day,” she said.
Jamieson offers these tips for reducing screen time:
-Take the TV out of bedrooms. “Yes, this may mean some family members may not get to watch what they want,” she said. “This is a good way to learn about taking turns and negotiating.”
-Turn off the TV during meals and eat together as a family.
-Develop hobbies and other interests. Get involved in your community, neighborhood, school or place of worship.
-Play games with your kids.
-Do yardwork as a family or tackle household projects together.
-Socialize more. Go out with friends to see a play, attend a concert, join an organization or volunteer.
-Walk your dog; play with and care for your pet.
For more information from MU Extension on a variety of family-related topics, see www.missourifamilies.org.
Writer: Mildred Carter