FOR RELEASE: April 13, 2007
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
TV-Turnoff Week, April 23 - 29
Make plans now to turn off the television for a week and get moving! National TV-Turnoff Week is April 23-29.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will join schools, libraries and community groups in a coordinated effort to encourage people to turn off their TVs, computers and electronic games for seven days and turn on to the world around them.
“TV-Turnoff Week provides an extended break from screens that consume so much of our free time. Instead, read, be more physically active, converse, think, create and do, rather than just view,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Mike Crutcher.
According to The Center for Screen-Time Awareness, children in the U.S. watch more than four hours of television each day. In the course of a year, they spend more time in front of the screen than in school – about 900 hours. One in four children under the age of 2 has a TV in his or her bedroom.
The April 2006 issue of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease noted that more than two hours of television viewing a day is associated with overweight and obesity in both men and women. This is important considering Oklahoma’s health statistics. The statewide 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey found that 36 percent of Oklahoma adults are overweight and 27 percent are obese. As for children, the 2003 National Survey of Children’s Health indicated that 15 percent of Oklahoma children between the ages of 10 and 17 are overweight, and 13 percent are at risk of becoming overweight.
Public health officials offer the following recommendations to help families reduce screen-time:
- Make a family commitment to cut back on TV time.
- Remove any TVs located in the rooms of children.
- Limit screen-time to less than two hours per day.
- Encourage daycare centers to avoid screen-time for children under the age of 2.
- Eliminate or reduce to a minimum the use of TVs in before-school and after-school programs.
National TV-Turnoff Week is sponsored by The Center for Screen-Time Awareness and is supported by more than 70 national organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, National Education Association, President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as well as the OSDH.
For more information and tips on how to reduce television viewing time in your home, visit: http://www.tvturnoff.org or contact Corey Wright, OSDH Chronic Disease Service, 405-271-4072, ext. 57127.