Screen time

Download the Tip Sheet (PDF)
Prepare a 10-minute AMA Youth Run Club School Health Advocacy Talk on “Screen Time” based on the suggested talking points, below:
  • What is “screen time”? (Ask the kids for their interpretation/understanding of what “screen time” is.)
    • Watching TV or DVDs
    • Playing video games; playing on the computer
    • Using an iPod, iPad or smart phone (texting, etc.)
  • How much time are kids spending on screen time?
  • How much recreational (outside of school) screen time is too much?
  • Instead of screen time, what other activities are better for your health?
    • Each day you need 60 minutes of “heart-pumping” physical activity to be healthy, comprising 30 minutes of vigorous activity. The remaining 30 minutes can be done in 10- to 15-minute increments of daily activity (refer to page 7 of Ever Active School’s Runner’s Handbook for an example).
    • Playing and being active help you be more alert, so you learn new skills and concepts (physical and mental) quicker and can improve your skills.
       (Physical examples: riding a bike; playing soccer and other sports; playground games; Youth Run Club)
       (Mental examples: playing board games, like checkers, chess or Scrabble; building things from Lego; doing puzzles)
    • Using imagination exercises your brain, keeps it healthier and helps you be smarter. (examples: reading, creating pictures, making up your own stories/games, playing outside)
    • Less screen time means more time to spend with your friends and family.
  • Ask the kids: How do you think too much screen time can affect your health? (Answer: Sometimes I have trouble sleeping, or falling asleep. Sometimes I feel tired at school, or distracted, and I have trouble learning. Sometimes my eyes bother me. Sometimes I don’t eat properly.)
  • Ask kids to think about screen-time activities they could give up (or cut back on) and what healthier, physical activities they could do instead.

Talk Support Tips

  • Print off and take some copies of Ever Active School’s “Eat. Move. Play.” Guide with you to your school health advocacy talk.
    • Encourage the children to take it home and complete it; emphasize the third exercise: screen time alternatives.
  • Consider providing the YRC coach with a small prize (sport hat/visor, running accessory, pass for a local pool or leisure centre, etc.) that the coach can use as a draw prize, entering all the names of kids who complete and submit the “Eat. Move. Play.” guide.
  • Have kids complete the “Screen time” activity sheet (attached to these talking tips).
  • Contact Janet Boyer, AMA Professional Affairs (780-482-0305 | 1.800.272.9680, ext. 5305) to obtain a small give-away item to distribute to the students, post-talk.

Resources

HELPFUL HINT: Talk to the run club coach before selecting your topic; for coach contact information, contact Hayley Degaust, Provincial Projects Coordinator, Ever Active Schools (Hayley@everactive.org | 780.454.4745)

Screen time activity

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.