Watching TV and playing computer games are common activities for kids BUT kids who spend long periods of time inactive are more likely to have poor physical, social and intellectual development.
Choices4Change and Corangamite Beyond the Bell came together to get children moving more and sitting less. Partners also included the Corangamite Shire Council and the Resilience Project who work to deliver emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.
Screen Free Day, which took place on the 1st of May, is about switching off your i-gadgets and taking the chance to read, play, think, create, be more physically active and spend time with family and friends.
The Choices4Chnage initiative provided a $500 prize for the school who undertook the most creative technology-free, screen-free activity that promoted engagement with peers. It was suggested to utilize their student council to run an activity during school time (either recess or during class). The prize money could be used for anything. It is hoped that this initiative will be run annually, building on the efforts from the previous year.
An advertising campaign via local radio was utilised to promote the key messages:
- Join the Corangamite Community in a Screen Free Day on the 1st of May. A chance to read, play, think, create, and get active.
- Turn off technology for one day and turn on the world around you. Join the Corangamite Community in a Screen Free Day on the 1st of May.
Doing any regular physical activity is better than doing none. Make your move – Sit less Be active for life! has more information about the benefits of being physically active and offers families steps they can take towards better health, at any age.
Look for ways to add physical activity into children’s days and try to limit the amount of time spent in front of screens. Recommended screen time in Australia is based on the Australian National Physical Activity and Sedentary Guidelines:
- Under 2 years old – ZERO screen time.
- 2-5 years – Less than 1 hour p/day.
- 5-17 years – Less than two hour’s p/day.
Encouraging kids to be active each day establishes good habits that can stay with them throughout their lives.Submit your story!