Cutting down screen time to 2 hours a day can be hard for some children because the TV may be such a large part of their daily routines. You can help your children by teaching them how sedentary activities affect their overall health. Talk to them about things they can do to be healthier.
Here are some helpful ways to start decreasing screen time:
- Remove the TV or computer from your child's bedroom.
- Do not allow TV watching during meals or homework.
- Do not let your child eat while watching TV or using the computer.
- Do not leave the TV on for background noise. Turn on the radio instead, or have no background noise.
- Decide which programs to watch ahead of time. Turn off the TV when those programs are over.
- Suggest other activities, such as family board games, puzzles, or going for a walk.
- Keep a record of how much time is spent in front of a screen. Try to spend the same amount of time being active.
- Be a good role model as a parent. Decrease your own screen time to 2 hours a day.
- If it is hard not having the TV on, try using a sleep function so it turns off automatically.
- Challenge your family to go 1 week without watching TV or doing other screen-time activities.
- Find things to do with the time that get you, your family, and your friends moving.
American Heart Association's Recommendations for Physical Activity in Children
American Heart Association's Recommendations for Physical Activity in Kids infographic (PDF)