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What is 'Screen Time'?

Screen time is any time spent sitting still watching TV or using devices such as computers, mobile phones or iPad/tablets for recreational purposes.

Is 'Screen Time' common among teens?

Screen time among teens is very common. The Australian physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines says that screen time for entertainment should be no more than 2 hours per day.

Is 'Screen Time' useful ?

Screen time is certainly useful. Teenagers use computers and tablets (and sometimes other screens, such as television) as part of their school work. It it is important, however, to help teens establish healthy habits outside of school hours. Deciding family rules and time limits can help avoid overuse of technology.

How can 'Screen Time' be harmful?

Screen time almost always involves sitting down in one place for periods of time and staring at a lighted screen. Frequent long periods of screen time can cause:

  • poor posture,
  • headaches,
  • eye strain,
  • weight gain,
  • sleep problems,
  • poor school performance and
  • mood changes.

Screen time for teens growing healthy kids in south west sydney


How can parents help their teenage children?

Parents can help to guide their teenage children by choosing high quality programs and apps to:

  • encourage creativity
  • practise problem solving
  • help develop communication skills
  • improve social skills
  • give positive messages about relationships, family and life
  • create interest in new topics

It is important to role model healthy screen use; you might include everyone in the family rules, such as no phones at the dinner table.

Check out the Active Hobbies section for other alternatives to screen time.

[Source: Raising Children Network; Queensland Health; Healthy Kids]


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