Friday, October 30, 2009

Kids Have a Part-Time Job: Watching TV

Kids Have a Part-Time Job: Watching TV
Kids are watching more than 28 hours of television every week. How to get your kids out from in front of the television, and outside to play.
By Dan Shapley
10.27.2009 Link to full article below

Man, what a grind.

Kids are putting in serious hours: before school, after school, while doing homework, instead of going outside to play. ... They're watching television. More than 28 hours every week.

That's according to the latest data from the Nielsen Company. The new numbers represent yet another increase in media consumption.

Pre-schoolers, aged 2-5 spend 32.5 hours a week in front of the television, watching TV directly, watching shows recorded by DVR, watching DVDs or playing video games. Older pre-teens, aged 6-11, are still spending 28 hours, a decrease that Nielsen chalked up to this: "They are more likely to be attending school for longer hours." Read another way, school and homework still only manage to cut out 4 hours of TV-watching from their schedules each week.

And consider this: The data only includes television-based media. The Internet, cell phones and other technology is left for another survey.

As the National Wildlife Federation's Green Hour campaign points out, all this time indoors in front of a screen is coming at the expense of unstructured play outdoors. This phenomenon has been called variously nature deficit disorder and videophilia, and there are symptoms to the disease, including obesity and possibly ADHD. Unstructured outdoor play also has been shown -- intuitively and by some science -- to have tangible benefits: It's unstructured time that helps kids develop problem-solving skills, self-reliance, creativity ...

Please read the full article:

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