To Your Health
February, 2017 (Vol. 11, Issue 02)
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Screen Zombies: Parents Need to Set a Better Example

By Editorial Staff

The topic of screen time has been a popular one lately, with several studies suggesting our children are spending far too much time glued to televisions, computers and smartphones. The potential consequences: poor sleep, overeating / obesity (attributed to "sitting around" – the proverbial "couch potato syndrome"); neck pain (from craning the neck to text or peer into a screen for hours); and other health problems.

But as it turns out, kids aren't the only culprits when it comes to screen addiction; parents can take the blame, too. While parents worry about how much time their children are spending on their tablets, cellphones and other devices, a recent study suggests parents are spending just as much time doing the exact same thing.

bad example - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark According to the study, parents of "tweens" and teens devote approximately nine hours a day to screen time. And don't attribute the bulk of that to computer time at work; the study found parents only spent about 1.5 hours daily on work-related screen time. The bulk of the nine hours were spent texting, watching TV, browsing the Internet, playing video games, checking social media sites and other screen-engaged activities.

So parents, the lesson is simple, although it may be tough to take: Lead by example! If you want your kids to spend less time staring at screens, start by limiting your own time. For tips on how to reduce screen time, click here (but don't spend too much time reading it; after all, your nine hours starts now).