Healthy Community Coalition Promotes Alternatives to TV viewing
April 17, 2009TV Turn-off Week (April 20-26, 2009)
Please celebrate National TV Turn-Off Week! The Healthy Community Coalition is encouraging you and your family to get off the couch, unplug your television sets, and do something fun that will exercise your mind or body.
In the past few decades, childhood obesity rates have nearly doubled for children aged 2-5 and adolescents 12-19, and tripled for children aged 6-11. This epidemic has the power of reducing overall life expectancy and quality of life because it increases the likelihood of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
“One of the biggest reasons for this dramatic increase in obesity is the lack of physical activity. Children are spending way too much time inside on their computers, watching television, or playing video games. They should be outside playing,” said Jessica Lawson a University of Maine at Farmington student intern working with the Healthy Community Coalition.
“Over the course of one year, children will spend more time watching TV than they spend in school or participating in any other activity except sleep,” Lawson added. “The average school-aged child will spend 27 hours per week watching television, but only 40 minutes per week having meaningful conversations with their family members.
This year national TV Turn-Off Week is being held April 20 through April 27. The Healthy Community Coalition is encouraging families to reduce or limit their screen time and participate in alternative activities that will promote physical activity and quality family time.
Here are some ideas or alternatives you and your family can try each day this week:
Monday: Go exploring. Choose a place in your community to explore and learn about. Try exploring in Bonny Woods or Flint Woods. For more information on walking trails visit the community connector Web site at www.TheCommunityConnector.org
Tuesday: Game night. Clean the dust off those board games and have some old fashioned fun!
Wednesday: Take a hike, walk, or bike ride. Do anything that gets you moving and outside.
Thursday: Volunteer in your community. Get together with family or friends and help out your area whether it’s picking up trash at a local park or helping cook for a soup kitchen.
Friday: Create a skit. Have you and your family write a skit then perform it on the front lawn for friends and other family members.
TV Turn-Off Week is a national effort supported by the American Medical Association, the National Education Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Healthy Community Coalition is an independent, non- profit affiliate of the Franklin Community Health Network, serving Greater Franklin County. For over fourteen years, HCC has offered preventive and educational services aimed at improving the health and well being of people in the community.
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