Although many recent studies with increased screen time have been done on younger generations, it is also an issue for adults.
“Among what exists is a 2011 Journal of the American Medical Association analysis that found high rates of TV-watching correlated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and, well, dying in general. A 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture publication noted “strong and consistent evidence in both children and adults … that screen time is directly associated with increased overweight and obesity.” (Rickert, 2013)
Read this recent article from the Wisconsin State Journal for more information on adults and screen time.
Increased screen time has become a major issue nationwide over recent years. Studies have shown that the massive improvements in technology and increased screen time can be associated with obesity, irregular sleep, impaired academic performance, violence, and other various health conditions.
Here are some tips and resources on how to help decrease screen time.
•Remove the TV or computer from the bedroom
•Do not allow TV watching during meals, work or homework
•Do not eat while watching TV, using the computer or other electronic devices
•Decide which programs to watch ahead of time; turn off the TV when they are over
•Keep a record of how much time is spent in front of a screen; try to spend the same amount of time being active
•If it is hard not having the TV on, try using a sleep function so it turns off automatically
•Be active during screen time; create a physically active game out of a television show, movie, computer or video game
Here are some FAQs recommended by the USDA about increased screen time and ideas to help you overcome these obstacles:
|“I’m exhausted after work and just want to sit on the sofa!”||It can be difficult to break your routine. Start by making small changes. For example, do you watch three hours of television most nights? Try cutting out just one program, and use the time to take a walk or play with the kids. Find activities that you enjoy and will look forward to – anything that gets you moving. Being active with family or friends can help you create a healthy new routine.|
|“I like to play video games that have an active component, like yoga or tennis. Do those count as screen time?”||Some active video games count as physical activity. Limit the amount of time you spend inactive in front of the television, including video games. Playing an active video game can be a fun way to get physical activity. The activity should make your heart beat faster and your breathing rate pick up for it to count as physical activity.|
|“I’ve logged my screen time, but I can’t figure out how much TV time I should set as my goal. Are there recommendations that I can follow?”||Try limiting your total screen time to 2 hours a day (outside of work or school). Start by picking your favorite shows that you want to watch. Find other activities, such as walking, or find a new hobby that you enjoy doing in place of watching television.|
For recent studies on affects of increased screen time refer to the links below.
ISU Study: Limiting screen time improves sleep, academics and behavior
American Academy of Pediatrics: Characteristics of Screen Media Use Associated With Higher BMI in Young Adolescents
Rickert, C. (2013, December 8). Maybe its the adults who need less ‘screen time’. In Wisconsin State Journal. RetrievedJuly 29,2014, from http://host.madison.com/news/local/columnists/chris-rickert/chris-rickert-maybe-it-s-the-adults-who-need-less/article_af6df0c2-9c6e-52fb-94d6-f275d427b3b1.html
United States Department of Agriculture. Weight Management: Decrease Screen Time. In Choose My Plate. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/weight-management/better-choices/decrease-screen-time.html#overcome