Technology seems to be taking over, but that doesn’t mean it has to take over your life! For many people, it’s not so much an addiction as the reality of the modern world. There are tons of benefits to unplugging, though. It frees up more time in your day, increases productivity, reduces muscle pain, helps you sleep better, manages your mood, makes you drive safer, and kicks the addiction!
Burn Calories not Electricity!
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Go for a family walk or bike ride instead of sitting down for a movie.
- Go to bed earlier instead of staying up late watching TV.
- Clean your house instead of checking Facebook or Twitter.
- Go to the mall instead of shopping online.
- Ride your bike to a friend’s house to talk instead of texting.
Fun Fact Posters
Create a Log and Set a Limit!
You might be surprised how quickly time adds up, especially from little things. Sending a text, watching Netflix, playing video games, or checking Facebook and Twitter all add up, and cutting back on them even a little can be an easy way to reduce the amount of screen time throughout the day. Record how much time your child spends being “plugged in” for a week. It might also be helpful to track academic and active times, too, and compare them with screen time at the end of the week. Set a limit of screen time per day and fill all that extra time with fun activities for the whole family.
Need help managing that screen-time habit? There are plenty of apps, extensions, plugins, and software that can help. Here are just a few we’ve found.
- PC: Kid’s Watch.
- Mac: Parental Controls
- Android: KIDO’Z Play Mode-Safe for Kids
- iPhone/iPad: Screen Time – Media Time Manager
- Chrome: Five Extensions to Track Time Online
- Firefox: Six Tools that Monitor Your Time Online
National Screen-Free Week (May 5 – 11, 2014)
Screen-Free Week is an annual celebration where people turn off screens and turn on life. It’s a springboard for healthy lifestyle changes. Here are all the resources you’ll need to participate in the 2014 Screen-Free Week.
- Screen-Free Pledge Card.
- 101 Screen-Free Activities to help you stay on track.
- Screen-Free Certificate of Achievement if you go Screen-Free all week.
- Screen-Free Week’s Kid’s and Screens Fact Sheet.
- Find more awesome handouts and resources at Screenfree.org
- View our Unplug! Pinterest board.
We’ve asked local organizations to submit activities they have going on so you can see the opportunities available in your communities to Unplug!
- Healthy Kids Weekend is the perfect way to Unplug!
- Click here to view our Activities Directory.
- Click here to view our Active Calendar.
Simple ways to Unplug at Work
Nearly everything at work seems to be on a computer or some form of technology, but there are still simple ways you can get away from that.
- Instead of sending emails to coworkers in the same building, walk to their office and talk to them! This will increase your activity throughout the day, and could also be beneficial for increasing positive social interaction within your workplace.
- Commit to taking a 10-minute break from your computer screen each hour! This break could be spent chatting with a coworker or taking a quick walk around the building. While this may seem like time wasted, this strategy has actually been shown to increase productivity throughout the workday.
- Walk for half of your lunch break! If you have a longer lunch break, instead of spending time on the computer or another electronic device, you can walk for the first half and eat your lunch the second half. This can help to reduce unnecessary screen time throughout the day and increase beneficial physical activity.
- There are tons of articles and blog posts on simple exercises and stretches you can do at the office. Here are a few favorites:
- Go a whole day without watching TV.
- Turn your phone off when you get home and spend time with your family.
- Give up video games for one week!
- Only use the computer if there is an important purpose (email, work, etc.).
- Give up social media for 1 week (or only get on every other day for less than 30 minutes).
- Commit to one tech-free day a week!
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation: Simple Steps to Decrease Screen Time at Home
- Check out this website for some more great tips on how to unplug!
- The average child spends five hours a day “plugged in”. See why it is important to “Unplug with Your Child”.
Activate Buffalo County
Activate Buffalo County is committed to creating a healthy community. They focus on bringing education and resources to the community in order to make the healthy choice the easy choice.