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Step away from your screens

Dana Wood

Smart phones, tablets and laptops have made life easier, more productive and efficient for many of us. But with the good comes the bad. Health experts say excessive amounts of time spent on smart phones and tablets can be addictive and can also affect childhood development.

Today, we all watch shows on laptops, surf social media sites on tablets and play games on our smart phones. That all adds up to more than seven hours a day connected to a screen. Sure, some of what we do in front of a screen is productive. However, the majority of those seven hours are unproductive and, worse, unhealthy.

Did You Know?

• Screen time includes TV, computer, smart phones and video games. All are important to limit.

• Watching TV is associated with more snacking and increased obesity.

• Too much TV has been linked to lower reading scores and attention problems.

Healthy screen time:

• No TV/computer under the age of 2.

• No TV/computer in the room where a child sleeps.

• One hour of educational TV/computer time between ages 2 and 5.

• After the age of 5, two hours or less.

Turn on the Fun

Life is more fun when you join in. Try these activities instead of picking up your phone or turning on the TV:

• Ride a bike.

• Go on a nature hike.

• Put together a puzzle.

• Turn on the music and dance.

• Read a book or magazine.

• Spend time catching up with your family.

• Take your kids to the park.

• Play board games.

• Walk, run or jog.

• Start a journal.

• Play ball (basketball, catch, soccer, etc.).

• Go to the library.

• Explore gyms in your community.

• Play charades.

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 and LiveWell Garfield County are helping you and your family to improve healthy eating habits and to be more physically active. For more information, please contact Dana Wood, LiveWell Garfield County Coordinator at (970)-625-5200, ext. 8121, or dwood@garfield-county.com. You can also visit http://www.letsgo.org.


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