Screen time: What is a healthy screen time?
Surfing, listening to music, watching videos, taking photos, and playing games – what don’t we do with our smartphones these days? Secretly, we spend a lot of time behind a screen. And all this time behind a screen is called screen time. How much screen time do you spend and how much of it is healthy for you or your child?
Meaning of screen time
Screen time literally means how much time you spend behind a screen in minutes and/or hours. When you think of a screen, you may think of your TV or computer, but don’t forget your smartphone.
Nowadays, the smartphone is not only a phone but also a game console, a camera, a computer, a navigation device, a wallet, and a calendar. In fact, we can – and do – do everything with our smartphones. And the more time you spend with your smartphone, the more screen time you have.
What is my screen time?
Measuring means knowing! When you see how many hours you look at your smartphone screen, you might realize that you want to do something about it. Want to know how much screen time you spend? Here’s how to find out:
With Apple products running iOS, you can easily find out how much time you spend on your screen. The Screen Time feature is installed on your phone or tablet by default. Every Monday, you’ll receive a push notification about your screen time! Would you like to know how much time you spend on the screen in between? You can do this via “Settings -> Screen time”.
Android smartphones, e.g. from Samsung or Huawei, do not automatically record your screen time. You can download a corresponding app from the Play Store. It’s very simple. Enter the word “screen time” in the Play Store and you will immediately see numerous options.
How much screen time is healthy?
The answer is actually nowhere concrete. Too much screen time can be detrimental to your health, as it is thought to affect your eyes and your ability to concentrate. In addition, too much screen time leads to muscle tension from sitting still for too long and can upset hormonal balance. You can also develop a phone addiction: the urge to look at your phone often and an anxious feeling when you can’t find it right away.
How much screen time for a child?
Screens are like magnets for children. Therefore, it is often difficult for a child to focus on anything other than a smartphone, tablet, or computer. It is advisable to monitor your child’s screen time rather than prohibit it. For example, make agreements with your child and set limits. After all, habits are hard to change.
Average screen time for a child
How much screen time is good for a child depends from child to child, but also on age. For example, how much time can a 10-year-old spend in front of a screen? The table below gives guidelines for maximum screen time per day:
Age of child Screen time per day
|0-2 years||5 minutes|
|2-4 years||30 minutes|
|4-6 years||1 hour (4×15)|
|6-8 years||1 hour (2×30)|
|8-10 years||1.5 hours|
|10-12 years||2 hours|
|12 years and older||3 hours|
Healthy screen time with a screen time limit
You can set a time limit for your smartphone or, for example, your child’s smartphone. This way you can strive for healthy screen time. You can set a screen time limit for both Apple and Android smartphones. On the Apple website, you will find detailed instructions on how to set a screen time limit. If you have an Android smartphone, you can find detailed instructions on Google’s support page.
It is best to spend as little time as possible behind our screens and get outside more often. Think about going for a nice walk with your kids! This can be a walk in the neighbourhood, of course, but it’s even nicer to make it a family holiday. Read about the Dolomites Alta Via 1 or the Alta Via 2 for example!