Making Screen Time Physical

May 25, 2017
Making Screen Time Physical

Studies show that use of screens can negatively impact a child’s physical activity

Here are some tips to make screen time a healthier experience for your child’s body and mind

  1. Take a Body Break
    • Use a timer to remind children to take body breaks.  Every 10 minutes, kids should pause their games or videos and take a stretch, do a jumping jack and shake it all out. This can prevent many of the body aches and pains that come from prolonged computer or video game use, and will serve to bring your child out of the “spell” of electronic devices.  This is even good for their brains as interruptions have been shown to help with attention and focus!

  2. Play Games that MOVE
    • Playing video games that involve physical activity, such as sports and dance games, can make screen time a great opportunity for a workout!

    • Games like “Wipeout” or “Just Dance” can really get kids moving and provide practice in following directions and using focus.

  3. Use Commercials
    • While your child is watching TV, take the opportunity to have them complete a task or chore during each commercial break.  This will not only get them up and off the couch, but is an easy way to get them motivated to complete simple tasks (like filling the hamper or making their bed) quickly and without argument.

  1. Plan the Day
    • Breaking up screen time into small segments of time can help kids to be more active throughout the day and have fewer hours in a zombie state!  Try offering screen time in short segments (10-30 minutes) and planning a physical activity in-between, like a run, walk or trip to the store.

  1. Use Screens during Daylight Hours
    • Research shows that screen use at night can negatively impact a child’s sleep and development.  Have children use electronics in the afternoon or early in the evening hours and use physical activity to tire them out the natural and healthier way. 
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