Limiting Technology

Tuning Out Technology

girl with a backpack

Evidence abounds that shows we live in a culture consumed by technology. Children spend an average of three to four hours a day watching TV. Add in technology like video games, tablets and mobile phones and they are likely logging more screen time than any other activity during the day, including exercise.

"What children watch on TV can really lead them down an unhealthy road," said Floyd Primary Care Physician Michael Gonsalves, M.Dā€‹. "They may pick up poor eating habits through commercials for high-calorie, low-nutrient foods plus, too much tech time can also keep them from reading, studying, playing or exercising, all of which contribute to a healthy, balanced lifestyle."

Dr. Gonsalves recommends these tips to help kids turn off the technology:

  • Limit all types of screen time to no more than 2 hours a day.
  • Take the TV out of your child's bedroom. Children with TVs in their rooms keep their eyes on the screen an average of 1.5 hours more a day.
  • Avoid using TV or other technology as a reward or punishment, which inflates its value.
  • As an alternate reward for your child, try a trip to the park, a festival, a playground or a visit to a relative's or friend's house.
  • Involve your child in non-screen-related activities or hobbies.
  • Encourage outdoor play and exercise.
  • Do not allow TV watching or use of other technology during mealtimes.