LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A new study has found that limiting screen time for kids can translate into tremendous benefits for their physical activity.
In a study published by Jama Pediatrics, researchers reduced the time kids were inactive and watching TV, tablets, or any other screen to just three hours a week for two weeks
What they found was that children were more physically active by more than 45 minutes a day.
So now the question becomes: “How can we take the screens away and avoid tantrums, arguments, or both?”
“First off, adjust the settings on your phone. Many don’t realize, but the phone can have apps which allow you to avoid those distracting apps. If it doesn’t have that easy setting, you can download Focus,” said Dr. Darien Sutton, ABC’s medical correspondent.
“Create a central charging station to plug in all your devices, and I say all because we all have work to do. I checked my screen time. It was abysmal so I won’t share it, but also practicing what you preach is really important,” said Dr. Sutton.
On average, kids spend around four to six hours a day on their screens.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says kids two to five years old should be getting no more than one to two hours of screen time a day. For kids 18 months to two years, just educational screen time with a caregiver is recommended and no screen time other than face calls for children younger than 18 months.
For ages six and up, health experts recommend parents and caregivers encourage healthy habits and limit activities that include screens.
It’s not just to encourage more physical activity. Watching a lot of TV or videos exposes kids to things like violence, sexual content, negative stereotypes, substance use, and cyberbullies/predators.
Health experts say too much screen time, can also lead to things like sleep problems, lower grades in school, reading fewer books, mood problems, poor self-image, and body-image issues.