Active_week_08_ Screens_Away

Put the Screens Away – Get Active Instead

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Family screen time is on the rise. In 2019, 52% of parents said they spend too much time on their mobile devices, up from 29% in 2016. Also, the proportion of children and youth who thought their parent(s) was/were addicted to their mobile devices and wished their parent(s) would get off their device increased from 28% in 2016 to 39% in 2019. At the same time, children’s and youths’ screen time is also on a sharp incline.

By age 11, over half (53%) of children have their own smartphone, and this increases to 69% by age 12.

One-third of youth keep their mobile devices in bed with them – and those with screens in their bedroom get less sleep.


The correlation between an increase in children’s use of mobile devices, and their parents’ increasing use, is no coincidence. Almost all parents have mobile devices and they are using them more than ever before. And, not surprisingly, so are their children.

This can have a direct impact on how much time children spend being sedentary and can negatively impact their sleep.

Modelling behaviour can go both ways. Kids do see how much we rely on our smartphones, tablets and computers – but our positive behaviour has an impact on them, too. Prioritizing physical activity can have direct positive impacts on developing children’s movement behaviours. When we make physical activity a part of our daily routine as a family, it is naturally engrained in the routines of our children and youth as well.

Week 7

Week 9



ParticipACTION. The Role of the Family in the Physical Activity, Sedentary and Sleep Behaviours of Children and Youth. The 2020 ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. Toronto: ParticipACTION; 2020. The 2020 Report Card and a summary of its findings (the Highlight Report) are available online at




Play, Have Fun, Enjoy Life!

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