According to a recent study by Nielson, the average American watches about 5 hours of TV per day or 153 hours per month. That’s almost 160 hours per month – equivalent to another 40 hour work week. In a 65 year life, that person will have spent 9 years watching television! That doesn’t even count the time spent playing video games or on the computer. Did you know the average American youth spends 900 hours in school in one year and 1500 hours watching TV in one year?
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that children have their screen time (TV, videos, video games, computer time) limited to no more than 2 hours total per day. If yours or yours child’s screen time was truly 2 hours a day, how much time would be left to participate in more stimulating and productive activities? If you only watched 2 hours of TV a day, your children would also be much less likely to watch over 2 hours a day. There would be more time to exercise or be involved in some sort of physical activity, spend more time in conversation with our children, help them with homework, prepare healthier meals and eat them with our family. Essentially, there would be more time to do a huge number of activities that are likely more valuable than watching TV. Next time you say “I don”t have time to exercise or cook my family a healthy dinner” add up the hours that week you spent glued to the TV and ask yourself if that is really true?
Brooke Uptagrafft, MD
Dr. Brooke is a family medicine doctor.