<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8"/>
<meta name="tikaGenerated" content="true"/>
<meta name="date" content="2011-02-16T23:32:10Z"/>
<meta name="xmp:CreatorTool" content="PDFCreator Version 0.9.8"/>
<meta name="dc:creator" content="Weirl"/>
<meta name="dcterms:created" content="2011-02-14T00:06:33Z"/>
<meta name="Last-Modified" content="2011-02-16T23:32:10Z"/>
<meta name="dcterms:modified" content="2011-02-16T23:32:10Z"/>
<meta name="title" content="Screen time Fact Sheet FINAL"/>
<meta name="Last-Save-Date" content="2011-02-16T23:32:10Z"/>
<meta name="meta:save-date" content="2011-02-16T23:32:10Z"/>
<meta name="dc:title" content="Screen time Fact Sheet FINAL"/>
<meta name="modified" content="2011-02-16T23:32:10Z"/>
<meta name="Content-Type" content="application/pdf"/>
<meta name="creator" content="Weirl"/>
<meta name="meta:author" content="Weirl"/>
<meta name="meta:creation-date" content="2011-02-14T00:06:33Z"/>
<meta name="created" content="Mon Feb 14 10:36:33 ACDT 2011"/>
<meta name="xmpTPg:NPages" content="6"/>
<meta name="Creation-Date" content="2011-02-14T00:06:33Z"/>
<meta name="Author" content="Weirl"/>
<meta name="producer" content="GPL Ghostscript 8.64"/>
</head>
<body>
<pre>
 
GIVE THE SCREEN A REST. 

ACTIVE PLAY IS BEST. 

 
FACT SHEET 

What is screen time. 
&gt; Screen time refers to the amount of time spent watching TV including videos and DVD s; playing 

computer games on video consoles or on computers and using computers for other purposes1 

&gt; In some instances screen time also refers to using telephones for texting and social networking. 

&gt; Electronic Media (EM) is a term also used to encapsulate all forms of screen based activities. 
 

Why Reducing Screen time as a theme?  
Positive associations between TV viewing and levels of overweight and obesity have been shown in 
the literature2 3 . TV viewing may contribute to overweight and obesity through electronic media 
displacing other activities such as free play and structured physical activity4, increased snacking5 or 
increased demand for energy dense foods which are heavily advertised6. 

In a study of preschoolers (ages 1-4), a child's risk of being overweight increased by six percent for 
every hour of television watched per day.  If that child had a TV in his or her bedroom, the odds of 
being overweight jumped an additional thirty-one percent for every hour watched. Preschool children 
with TVs in their bedroom watched an additional 4.8 hours of TV or videos every week7.  

Compared to children who have less than 2 hours of screen time a day, children who have more are 
more likely to: 

&gt; be overweight 
&gt; be less physically active 
&gt; drink more sugary drinks 
&gt; snack on foods high in sugar, salt and fat 
&gt; have fewer social interactions.8 
 

Excessive TV has been linked to other negative outcomes such as poor cognitive performance, 
antisocial behaviour and reduced sleep time9 

Research now indicates that for every hour of television children watch each day, their risk of 
developing attention-related problems later increases by ten percent.  For example, if a child watches 
three hours of television each day, the child would be thirty percent more likely to develop attention 
deficit disorder10.  



 
For the purposes of OPAL the main concern is the link between obesity and electronic media use 
(mainly TV viewing) and the desire to increase the overall levels of physical activity within our 
communities.  

 

Australian Guidelines for screen time: 
&gt; Australia s Physical Activity Recommendations recommend that 5-18 y.o accumulate no more than 

2 hours of screen time a day for entertainment (excluding educational purposes)11. 
&gt; Guidelines for children under five have also been released and recommend children younger than 2 

years do not spend anytime viewing TV or other electronic media and for children 2-5 years less 
than 1 hour per day.12 

 

Existing Screen time behaviour 
According to the 2007 National Australian Children s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey   South 
Australian Findings13: 

&gt; South Australia has a significantly higher amount of screen time (peaking at 4.5hours/day for 13-14 
year olds) than the National average (peaking at 4hours/day for 13-14 year olds).  

&gt; Significant differences in screen time exist across SES bands. Children of the lowest SES quartile 
accumulate 30-50 mins more screen time than children of higher SES. In addition High SES 
children have 30 min /day more school-related time and 20 min/day more sport than low SES 
children14. 

&gt; Screen time is highest in holidays and on weekends. Adolescents spent an extra 100mins/day in 
front of small screens on weekends and public holidays, 

&gt; Boys accumulate about 40mins/day more screen time than girls 

&gt; Screen time rises rapidly until the ages of 13-14 then declines slowly.  

&gt; 75% of screen time is TV at age 9 dropping to 60% by age 16, 

Other research shows that: 

&gt; Obese children watch more TV and accumulate more screen time than non-obese children 15 

&gt; Watching TV for 2hrs per day during childhood and adolescence has been shown to attribute to 
17% of adult overweight16. 

&gt; The peak time for TV watching for 10-13 year olds is 7pm at night followed by the time from 4pm to 
7pm and with another peak at 7am17.  

 

Determinants of screen time 
&gt; Families are important influencers on how children use their time: 

? Having a mother who watches more than 2hrs of TV per day and co-viewing with parents were 
the strongest predictor of adolescents watching TV18 



 
? Parents feel they were time-poor, working long hours and spending more time with younger 
siblings, leaving minimal time to be active with their older children. This resulted in using small 
screen recreation as a proxy-babysitter19. 

&gt; Critical role of siblings and caregivers as role models in relation to physical activity 

&gt; Monitoring rules and restrictions20: 

? Mothers are the gatekeepers  

? Most regulate EM use through rules and restrictions eg. no TV before school 

&gt; Physical home environment21: 

? Parents recognise TV in bedrooms as a concern but more in terms of being ready for school on 
time and adhering to bed times 

? TV in child s bedroom was positively associated with weight status in some studies22  

&gt; Substantial number of children begin watching TV during pre-school years and these patterns 
persist into childhood and adolescence23 

&gt; Changes in TV viewing have been found to be influenced more by : 

? Child s desire to turn off the TV and play with parents 

? Home rules about how long they can watch TV24 

 

Social/cultural issues 
&gt; Some families see co-viewing as  family time 25 

&gt; Parents perceived participation in physical activity and social activities as countering sedentary 
time. 

&gt; TV plays an important role in assisting busy mothers cope with young children26 

&gt; Many parents value TV as a good educational tool 

&gt; Any concern over TV watching is usually about content (violence, language) not relationship to 
obesity10 

 

Barriers to changing behaviour 
&gt; Parents or children (11-12yo) are not concerned about excessive time spent with EM10 27  
&gt; Parents identified their own propensity toward TV viewing and their own sedentary behaviour as a 

negative example for their children 10 19 but were reluctant to change their own behaviour to reduce 
screen time28 

&gt; Parents underestimate their children s use of electronic media 28 29  

&gt; Parents need to use TV as a safe and affordable distraction and rely on this for them to complete 
chores 19 28 



 
&gt; Parents  belief that on weekends children should be able to spend leisure time as they wish 28 

&gt; Parents of younger children (6-7 years) feel more empowered to restrict TV viewing than parents of 
older children 28 

&gt; Parents and children were more open to limits on weekdays and school nights than weekends and 
holidays when viewing time peaked 28 

&gt; Perceived lack of in home affordable alternatives 28 

&gt; Limits on TV perceived as a good thing but many feel it did not apply to them 28 

&gt; A lack of rules around time spent watching EM was thought to be a barrier to reducing EM use, split 
households with different rules, the busy lives of parents or a breakdown in parental authority may 
explain why rules may not be present and/or enforced 19  

 

Benefits of reducing screen time 
 

&gt; Parents identified closer family communication and improved school performance as potential 
positive impacts of reducing TV viewing 28 

 

Potential approaches promoted in the literature 
&gt; Stages of Change model useful in conceptualising interventions to reduce screen time. Most 

parents at pre-contemplation (not considering a change and unaware of issue) 28. 
&gt; To move them to contemplation stage messages should appeal to benefits that parents already 

value and address barriers by making behaviour change easier eg. small incremental changes 30. 

&gt; Raising parental awareness of the association between TV and childhood obesity 15 

&gt; Increasing awareness about risks associated with excessive screen time (including negative 
psychological, behavioural and physiological side effects) 

&gt; Increase awareness about current guidelines 

&gt; Informing parents of simple changes like removing TV s from bedrooms and turning TV off during 
dinner 15 

&gt; Interventions that target family TV viewing practices, parents in particular are more likely to be 
effective than interventions which directly target adolescent viewing times26 

&gt; Mothers are capable of and willing to set and enforce EM rules within their households27  

&gt; Introducing curfews eg. no TV after 8pm, before 8am or between 3.30-6pm has the potential to 
reduce screen time by 23%, 5.2% and 20% respectively.17 

 

Potential messages to parents28: 
&gt; Pay attention to how much children spend using all screen based media 

&gt; Do not put TV s in children s bedrooms 



 
&gt; Eliminate background TV 

&gt; Limit TV on School Days 

&gt; Identify Non-screen, in home activities that are pleasurable to children 

&gt; No TV in eating areas 



 
 

 

                                                 

1
 SA Government. 2007 National Australian Children s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey   South Australian Findings. 

2
 Armstrong CA, Sallis JF, Alcaraz JE et al. Children s television viewing, body fat and physical fitness. Am J health Promotion 

1998, 12(6):363-8. 
3
 Crespo C, AndersonR, Pratt M. Obesity and its relation to physical activity and television watching among US children. Med Sci 

Sports Exerc 1998; 30(5): Suppl: p 80.  In Granich, J, Rosenberg M, Knuiman M and Timperio A. Understanding children s 
sedentary behaviour: a qualitative study of the family home environment. Health Education Research, 2010, 25 (2) 199-210. 
4
 Granich, J, Rosenberg M, Knuiman M and Timperio A. Understanding children s sedentary behaviour: a qualitative study of the 

family home environment. Health Education Research, 2010, 25 (2) 199-210. 
5
 Van den Blulck J, Can Mierlo J. Energy intake associated with television viewing in adolescents, a cross sectional study. 

Appretite 2004; 4392): 181-4. In Granich, J, Rosenberg M, Knuiman M andTtimperio A. Understanding children s sedentary 
behaviour: a qualitative study of the family hoe environment. Health Education Research, 2010, 25 (2) 199-210.  
6
 Haford JCG, Gillespie J, brown V et al. Effect of television advertisements for foods on food consumption in children . Appetite 

2004; 42(2): 221-5. In Granich, J, Rosenberg M, Knuiman M and Timperio A. Understanding children s sedentary behaviour: a 
qualitative study of the family home environment. Health Education Research, 2010, 25 (2) 199-210.  
7
 Dennison BA, Erb TA and Jenkins PL. Television viewing and television in Bedroom associated with overweight risk among low 

income preschool children. Pediatrics 2002. 109: 1028-1035. 
8
 CSIRO web-site http://www.csiro.au/resources/10-steps-for-healthy-families-ScreenTime.html 

9
 Christakis DA, Zimmerman FJ. Violent television viewing during preschool is associated with antisocial behaviour during school 

age. Pediatrics 2007; 120(5): 993-9. Van den Bulck J. Television viewing, computer game playing and internet use and self-
reported time to bed and time our of bed in secondary  school children. Sleep 2004; 27(1):101-4. In Granich, J, Rosenberg M, 
Knuiman M and  
Timperio A. Understanding children s sedentary behaviour: a qualitative study of the family hoe environment. Health Education 
Research, 2010, 25 (2) 199-210.  
10

 Christakis DA, Zimmerman FJ, Giuseppe DL and McCarty CA. early Television Exposure and subsequent attentional 
problems in children. Pediatrics, 200; 113 (708-713).  
11

 Department of Health and Ageing (2004a) Australia s Physical Activity Recommendations for 5-12 year olds. Commonwealth of Australia. 
12

 Department of Health and Ageing (2009). Get Up and Grow   healthy eating and physical activity for early childhood. Family book. 
13

 SA Government. 2007 National Australian Children s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey   South Australian Findings. 
14

 Correspondence with Tim Olds 14/4/10 
15

 Van Zutphen M, Bell AC, Kremer PJ and Swinburne BA. Association between the family environment and television viewing in 
Australian children. J Paediatrics and Child health 43(2007) 458-463. 
16

 Hancox RJ, Milne BJ, Poulton R. association between child and adolescent television viewing and adult health: a longitudinal 
birth cohort study. Lancet 2004; 364(9430):257-62. In Granich, J, Rosenberg M, Knuiman M and Timperio A. Understanding 
children s sedentary behaviour: a qualitative study of the family home environment. Health Education Research, 2010, 25 (2) 
199-210.  
17

 Olds T, Ridley K and Dollman J. Screenieboppers and extreme screenies: The place of screentime in the time budgets of 10-
13 year old Australian children. Aust and N Z J Public Health 2006 30(2):137-142 
18

 Hardy LL, Baur LA, Garnett SP, Crawford D et al. Family and home correlates of television viewing 12-13 year old 
adolescents: The Nepean Study. Intl J  Beh Nutrition and Phys Act 2006 3 (24). 
19

 Puglisi LM, Okley AD, Pearson P, Vialle W. Barriers to increasing physical activity and limiting small screen recreation among 
obese children. Obesity Research &amp; Clinical Practice (2010) 4, e33 e40 
20

 Granich, J, Rosenberg M, Knuiman M and Timperio A. Understanding children s sedentary behaviour: a qualitative study of 
the family home environment. Health Education Research, 2010, 25 (2) 199-210.  
21

 Granich, J. et al 2010. 
22

 Van Zutphen M, Bell AC, Kremer PJ and Swinburne BA. Association between the family environment and television viewing in 
Australian children. J Paediatrics and Child health 43(2007) 458-463 
23

 Hardy LL, Baur LA, Garnett SP, Crawford D et al. Family and home correlates of television viewing 12-13 year old 
adolescents: The Nepean Study. Intl J  Beh Nutrition and Phys Act 2006 3 (24). 
24

 Swinburn B and Shelly A(2008). Effects of TV time and other sedentary pursuits. International journal of Obesity 32, s132-
s136 
25

 Granich, J. et al 2010 
26

 He M, Irwin JD, Sangster Bouck LM, Tucker P, Pollett GL. Screen-viewing behaviours among preschoolers parents  
perceptions. Am J Prev Med 2005, 29(2) 120-5. 
27

 Granich, J. et al 2010 
28

 Jordan AB, Hersey JC, McDivitt JA and Heitzler CD. Reducing children s television viewing time: a qualitative study of parents 
and their children. Pediatrics 2006, 118;e1303-e1310. 
29

 Department of Health WA. Unplug and Play Media Campaign Evaluation Sept 2009 
30

 Prochaska, J, DiClemente C. The Transtheoretical Approach. Homewood IL: Dow Jones Irving, 1983. 
 


</pre>
</body>
</html>