Reduce Screen Time
Limit Computer Time and Television Usage
For many of us, limiting our computer use and getting away from all screens can be a challenge. "Screen time" means television screens, computer monitors, and even the handheld devices we use for checking email, listening to music, watching TV, and playing video games on the go.
Health experts say screen time at home should be limited to two hours or less a day. The time we spend in front of the screen, unless it's work- or homework-related, could be better spent being more physically active (increasing our energy out).
As a parent or caregiver, you can set a good example for your kids and set rules that limit their computer time, TV watching, and video game playing to reduce how much time they spend in front of a screen. Research by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation shows that setting rules about media use is hard for many parents.
In 8- to 18-year-olds:
- 28% said their parents set TV-watching rules
- 30% said their parents set rules about video game use
- 36% said their parents set rules about computer use
However, the same study also showed that when parents set any media rules, children's media use is almost three hours lower per day.
|Other Screen-Time Statistics
(Source: Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, "Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8-18 Year Olds," January 2010)
Children ages 8–18 spend the following amount of time in front of the screen each day:
Today's youth also have the following media in their bedrooms:
Screen Time Reduction Tools
The following tools may help you and your family reduce screen time and increase ENERGY OUT. For more information, visit the Tips to Reduce Screen Time page.
- We Can! Reduce Children's Screen Time Chart (141 KB): Use this resource to track how much time your children spend watching TV, playing video games, or sitting in front of a computer.
- Stories you can share with family, friends, and/or your local media:
- More Screen Time Equals Less Activity Time | PDF (152 KB)
- Less TV, Fewer Videos Help Keep Weight in Check | PDF (684 KB)
- Available in Spanish: Menos TV y Videos Ayudan a Mantener el Peso (Spanish) | PDF (680 KB)