What’s wrong with watching television or spending time online?
Excessive screen time can lead to:
- Lack of time to spend with family and friends. Excessive screen time limits communication and bonding.
- Obesity. Excessive screen time increases body-mass index.
- Increased risk of diabetes. The average time spent watching television is strongly associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Addiction to TV. Some people watch more TV than they want to, but find they’re unable to reduce their viewing.
- Increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Adults between 40 and 60 who watched a lot of TV are more likely to have Alzheimer's when they reached 70 or older.
- An altered emotional state. Television induces an emotional state described as relaxed, drowsy, and passive.
- Less time to spend on important activities. People have less time to engage in community activities.
Understanding the negative consequences of watching too much television and engaging in too much computer time can help you and your family make changes. Here are some ideas to help you get started:
- Limit screen time. Plan a schedule for yourself or with your family in advance for days and time TV can be watched and the computer can be used. Turn off the TV during meals.
- Know what your children are viewing. Make sure the programs your children are watching are age appropriate.
- Get up and get active. Engage in sports, recreational activity, and work around the house and yard. If you have children or elderly parents who are active, encourage them to join in these activities with you. Walk and bike often.
- Plan adventures. Play board games or go to the library, the park, a museum, or the zoo.
Nation TV Turn Off Week is April 21 through 27. For more information, visit the Web site of the Center for Screen-Time Awareness.