American teenagers spend their time largely in front of a screen. According to Kaiser Family Foundation research, teenagers spend more than 50 hours weekly in front of their laptops, computer, tablet, cellular phone and any other electronic devices. This screen time affects their health and academic performance. In the end, it also influences their behavior, priorities and relationships. Most of the time, it has a negative impact on teens.
Research done by Tracie A. Barnett, a researcher at Sainte-Justine Children's Hospital Research Center in Montreal, shows that cutting teens' screen time in half also helps them lose weight. The research also shows that teens who live in the poorest neighborhoods spend five times more time in front of a screen compared to those who live in the richest neighborhoods.
Screen time becomes a better option for the poorest neighborhoods because it is more dangerous to spend time outside, according to Frederick Zimmerman, an associate professor of health services at the University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute. Studies also show that screen time is not just related to obesity but also smoking, violence and poor academic performance.
There are many practical ways of lessening screen time for teens. Parents should play an active role in successfully controlling screen time. There are many creative ways in controlling how American teens spend their time away from screens without limiting them.