Facts and figures about our TV habits (and 5 ways to break the patterns)

From television to computers to cell phones, technology is all around us. Without a doubt, technology has opened many doors for us. Access to the Internet promotes the spread of ideas and information, access to television allows us to view art in the form of movies, and access to cell phones allows us to call our loved ones no matter where they are.

On the other hand, too much of anything is not a good thing. This logic holds true when it comes to technology and screen time. What may seem like harmless activity can affect us in deeper ways than we realize. It is important to consider how much time we spend on our devices.

Here are some facts and figures about TV clothing:

  • The average American child between the ages of 2 and 17 spends 19 hours and 40 minutes watching television per week.
  • 202 “junk food” advertisements air during four hours of Saturday morning cartoons.
  • Parents spend an average of 38.5 minutes in meaningful conversations with their children.
  • The average American child spends 4 hours and 41 minutes in front of a screen of some kind every day.
  • 55% of young adults admit to putting off their bedtime because of the internet or TV.
  • The more babies interact with screens, the less time they spend in creative play, the foundation of learning.
  • American children watch 20,000 television commercials a year.
  • Children can develop brand loyalty as early as 2 years old.
  • By age 65, the average American has seen 2 million commercials.
  • 40% of Americans always or often watch TV while eating dinner.
  • Marketers purposely encourage children to scold their parents about products. Discomfort accounts for one in three trips to fast food restaurants.
  • According to the American Heart Association, about one in three American children and adolescents is overweight or obese. This is nearly triple the rate in 1963.

5 ways to disconnect energy and tune in to the world around us:

  1. Move! Go for a walk, play soccer with your kids, or go for a family bike ride! Getting 30 minutes of physical activity every day has been shown to help keep our bodies healthy and strong.
  1. To read a good book. You know that book sitting on your shelf that you bought months ago? Now is the perfect time to pick it up and read a few pages.
  1. Start a garden. Spring is here, so dust off your gardening tools and plant beautiful flowers, herbs, or vegetables like peppers or tomatoes.
  1. Cook up some creativity in the kitchen. Find a new recipe online or in your favorite cookbook to try and turn it into a fun family activity!

Whatever activity you choose to do away from screens is sure to brighten your day and open up your world to new possibilities.

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