Report calls for two hour screen-time guideline for children

A new report from the Association of Play Industries (API) has shown a strong link between screen time and children’s inactivity, with children choosing to spend hours indoors and on screens instead of playing outside.

The report 'Movement for Movement' reveals that children have never moved so little and points to evidence that screens are a key reason.

There appears to be a rapid and dramatic change from outdoor to indoor time, with a 50 per cent increase in children’s discretionary screen time (DST) in less than a decade. By the age of eight, the average child will have spent one full year sitting in front of a screen.

The Association of Play Industries’ is now calling upon the government to issue an official recommendation of two hours discretionary screen time per day for children.

It is also calling on the government to invest in outdoor play provision, especially in deprived areas, to reverse the decline in playgrounds

The report’s author, Dr Aric Sigman said: “This report confirms what most parents already know, that discretionary screen time is their children’s main activity. Whether it’s watching TV, playing games on laptops and iPads or spending time on social media, recreational screen time is occupying hours of their day, and has replaced outdoor play.

“Parents are looking for support and guidance on how to go back-to-basics to limit discretionary screen time and get their children outdoors and playing again. The introduction of a two-hour limit for daily recreational screen time will offer specific advice to parents and with the support of government, we can start to tackle the increasing screen time issue.”

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