How Much Screen Time is Healthy?
The average screen time for kids is 4 to 6 hours per day. This number goes up with teenagers, estimated to be 8-9 hours per day. However, adults take the cake averaging 10+ hours per day on a screen. That’s a lot of hours!
It’s tough to say how much time spent on a screen is too little or too much. However, we do know that as time increases, negative effects begin to appear.
Negative Side Effects of Too Much Screen Time
Here are a few issues that can arise when we spend too much time looking at screens:
- Learning problems and behavior challenges in kids– delays in language, cognition, and social and emotional development.
- Depression and anxiety in teenagers- teens that spend more time on screens are twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
- Obesity- the more time you spend on a screen, the number of sedentary hours increase learn more with 10 Harmful Things when it comes to sedentary time.
- Sleep problems– blue light that is emitted from screens lowers your levels of melatonin.
- Back pain and neck pain– looking down at a phone or laptop screen puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder and neck muscles.
How to Decrease Your Time on Devices
Cutting down time on your screens can be done gradually. You don’t have to do it all at once. Here are a few suggestions on how to decrease the amount of time you spend on screens:
- Remove the TV or computer from your bedroom.
- Turn the TV off during meals and homework time.
- Do not leave the TV on for background noise.
- Determine which shows you want to watch ahead of time. Turn off the TV when the show is over.
- Increase family time with board games, puzzles, or going for walks.
- Keep track of how many hours you are spending in front a screen.
- Limit your time on devices to 2 hours per day.
- Use the sleep function on your TV so that it turns off automatically.
- Do a 1-week family challenge of “no TV.”
- Set limits on your apps to automatically warn you of usage.
- Leave the phone at home during a workout- smartphones and exercise don’t mix.
- Drinking enough water– more frequent bathroom trips gives you a break from screens
Protect your posture, limit the number of hours you spend watching TV, on social media, or on your phone. Be especially careful with screen time for kids. All of those minutes add up to hours, days, months and years. We recognize that the more time you spend on screens, the higher the risk of getting headaches, neck pain and back pain.
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