How can we be active as a family?

Reduce screen time

Increases in technology have left many children adopting sedentary lifestyles. In fact, children regularly spend more than 1,023 hours in front of the TV in a given year, that's 123 hours more than the spend in school during a year.

There are ways to set limits on screen time that are fun and easy to follow, which may help children miss it less – or not at all.

Screen time is defined as any inactive time that involves a media "screen." Examples include TV, video games, hand-held video games, text messaging, DVDs, and computer use not related to school.

As a family, discuss different ways you will all be able to limit screen time:

  • Instead of spending a rainy Saturday in front of the TV, head to the bowling alley for an active family outing.
  • Determine "media" free zones like bedrooms and the kitchen. Ask family members to report on their day during meals.
  • Make a game of weekend yard work – rake leaves and have fun jumping in the pile.
  • Consider active alternatives like playing Frisbee or walking the dog.
  • Play a board game, cook, listen to music, or volunteer in your local community.

Remember, balance is key – media use does not need to be all-or-nothing. Media can play an important role in teaching children critical lessons, so choose your family's media choices wisely.

Download additional resources to support your screen-free activities (PDF).