Experts Encourage Parents To Limit Kids’ Screen Time For Better Heart Health
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – We know excessive screen time can affect the mental and emotional health of our children, but recent research also shows it is having an impact on heart health.
There seems to be a popular theme among the Rogers kids.
“My favorite game is Minecraft,” said 6-year-old Brighton Rogers, sitting next to the computer.
“You get to build whatever you want,” added 12-year-old Stratton Rogers.
Ten-year-old Creighton Rogers mines stone to build walls and weapons, while Brighton Rogers opts for building horse pens with lots of horses, she noted.
Despite the Roger kids’ love for video and computer games, Serity and Ric Rogers set a few ground rules for their children.
Screen time in the Rogers home starts the old school way by setting the microwave timer.
“This might sound crazy. We only give them a half hour a day of free screen time,” Serity Rogers said.
The Rogers learned the hard way with one of their sons.
“If he gets on screens first thing in the morning, you’ve lost him for the day because he just dives in and that’s what he wants to do for the rest of the day,” they said.
The American Heart Association recently published a report showing a connection between excessive screen time, obesity, and cardiovascular risk factors like heart disease and stroke.
Intermountain Healthcare clinical psychologist Dr. Bruce Poulsen described the connection between too much screen time and a sedentary lifestyle.
“I think the link there is inactivity because when you are online, when you are playing video games, when you are watching TV, you are not being active,” he said.
Poulsen suggests limiting screen time to one or two hours a day.
“With kids, it should be sit less and play more,” he described.
The Rogers agree.
“I think every kid should know how to kick a ball and throw a ball and catch a ball,” Ric Rogers said.
They encourage their kids to get outside and play on their bikes and roller blades. But they also think outside of the box to keep their kids moving.
“We mow two lawns and we do a ton of yard work,” Creighton Rogers said.
With their parents’ encouragement, Stratton and Creighton Rogers started a neighborhood business to help them stay active.
“We’re trying to teach them that they can control themselves and put limits on it and they will be just fine,” Ric Rogers said.
Poulsen said it’s important to expose kids to physical activity and being outdoors from an early age because it becomes difficult to make those health changes later in life.
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