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Friday, 25 April 2014 14:39

Screen Free Week May 5-11, 2014

Written by  Dr. Farooq Ahmad

Screen-Free Week--the annual event encouraging children, families, schools, and communities to spend time away from electronics and screens--is May 5-11. Preschoolers spend an average of 32 hours per week in front of screens, and that number increases for older children. Too much screen time is linked to poor school performance, childhood obesity, attention problems, and the erosion of creative play. It can also be habit forming. Celebrate the upcoming Screen-Free Week and help break the cycle of dependence on TV, tablets, smart phones, and computer games to promote physical activity

Americans children are spending more time than ever watching TV, surfing online and playing video games. In addition to become sedentary, people tend to eat while watching TV, making a double contribution towards obesity. Research shows that each one hour increase in TV viewing is associated with an addition of about 167 calories. A study conducted in 2009 to find out the effects of media in the lives of 8-18 years old revealed that they spend 3:50hours watching TV, 1:02 hours on computers, 50 minutes playing video games and 43 minutes reading per day. This obviously is a sharp disregard to Public Health expert’s advice who recommend spending not more than two hours in a day watching TV. Conversely, observations have proved that sticking to recommended two hours daily TV limit has a very positive effect on children’s health.

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