The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that the excessive amount of time children spend in front of a screen puts their health at risk due to an extreme lack of exercise.
Screen time has dramatically increased since 2002, especially for children 11-years-old and up. While studies state that the amount of television watched on a daily basis has decreased, it has been replaced by portable devices like cell phones and tablets. Often, kids (and adults) use these to stay connected to friends through various social media apps.
The World Health Organization completed a study, discovering that over 74.6 percent of girls and 76.5 percent of boys between the ages of 11 and 15 use a screen for two hours or more each day. The usage rates increased for boys and girls, but girls over 15-years-old experienced a tripled rate.
As children increase their screen time and decrease their level of physical activity, they put their health at risk. A sedentary lifestyle is linked to depression, obesity and an array of health problems.
In the past, children spent more time outdoors, playing sports, riding bikes and running around. Now, many kids head home after school and shut themselves in their bedrooms to swipe through Instagram photos. Parents no longer ground their kids from leaving the house. Instead, they have their computer games removed to their sheer horror.
What is there left to do? Parents, teachers, and doctors need to urge their children to spend more time outside. Enrol your children in sports. Take them for daily walks. Put limits on screen time, such as no screens at dinnertime or family time.
We need to find ways to make children active again.