Sarah Merkel, a Health Promoter with the Perth District Health Unit, was our guest speaker on Tuesday evening.
She graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Health Sciences from Western University (2008) and completed a Master’s Degree in Public Health at the University of Waterloo (2016).
Sarah shared eye opening statistics on current screen time usage for infants, children and adults.
Screens include phones, tablets, computers and TV.
We were asked to reflect on our own relatively screen-free childhoods, and how we spent our leisure time.
This was followed by a video (see below), in which three generations are interviewed about what they do (or did as children) for fun in their spare time.
The C.S.E.P.’s 24-Hour Movement Guidelines recommends a daily screen time limit of 1 hour a day for 2 to 4-year-olds, and 2 hours for 5 to 17-year-olds.
Unfortunately, statistics suggest that many children and teenagers are exceeding this, and short-term data suggests that the negative impact is wide ranging.
The next video featured Simon Sinek discussing digital addiction.
Sarah concluded that while there is no simple answer to such a complex problem, there are many opportunities for healthcare providers, parents, daycares and schools to be involved.
And we were encouraged to to consider the question: “What is my role?”