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Wean the Screen

Image of boy watching televisionFor most Americans, one of the biggest challenges to being more physically active is the amount of time families spend in front of a screen—TV, video games, and computers.

It's time to wean the screen. Setting and agreeing on a certain number of hours each day of "screen time" is important. Health experts recommend that screen time be limited to two hours or less a day that is not work- or homework-related time, such as watching documentary films, doing research, or writing on a computer.

We Can! Resources to Help Reduce Screen Time

To help families and communities reduce screen time, We Can! has developed a variety of useful, evidence-based materials and information.

We Can! Reduce Children's Screen Time Log: A tracking chart to help assess the amount of time children and other family members spend watching TV, playing video games, or using the computer for recreational purposes. Download the screen time log.

Short Articles: These "matte articles" are news stories that are prewritten, with a graphic or photo included, and have been distributed to newspapers nationwide. They are also great for newsletters and hand-outs.

  • More Screen Time Equals Less Activity Time: PDF | HTML
  • Less TV, Fewer Videos Help Keep Weight In Check: PDF | HTML
  • Menos TV y videos ayudan a mantener el peso (Spanish): PDF | HTML

Curricula and Programs: We Can! offers communities a youth curriculum on reducing screen time entitled Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television, or, S.M.A.R.T. It helps motivate children to reduce their television watching and video game usage.

We Can! also offers another media-related youth curricula, Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! This 10-lesson curriculum focuses on helping young people ages 11 to 13 understand the connections between media and health.

The We Can! Energize Our Families: Parent Program includes a session dedicated to helping parents reduce the screen time and increase the physical activity levels of their families. During the Parent Program, parents are introduced to youth screen time statistics and learn how to use tools like the We Can! Reduce Children’s Screen Time Log.

Audio News Release: This 60-second ANR is a pre-packaged news story that We Can! sent to radio stations. Karen Donato, We Can! Coordinator, speaks about the importance of reducing screen time.

In addition to the resources that are listed on this page, you will find more information on our Web site. Visit Limiting Screen Time – More ENERGY OUT and Helpful Ways to Reduce Screen Time.


We Can!™ is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.