Oh, that screen time. Can you cut it to two hours daily?

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Nothing strikes horror in the hearts of adolescents like hearing they should limit screen time to two hours per day.

Many adults cannot imagine limiting their own recreational use of TV, computers, phones and tablets to a mere couple of hours daily.

The recommendation of the 5210 campaign is part of a larger plan to encourage improved health by converting time spent sitting and staring at a screen into active time.

Just exactly how do we begin the process of reducing the amount of time we spend staring at an electronic device? And why would we do that?

To stop a habit, it is important to replace it with something positive. For example, to cut down on time spent trolling social media, choose something appealing to take its place. If you are figuring out how to fit in a walk or quick game of basketball to increase your physical activity, borrowing that time from the minutes you would usually be sitting in front of a screen is a win-win.

Read about more ideas (ironically) online at the 5210 website.

As for the why, increased activity will improve overall health. This includes better concentration for important tasks, reduction of stress and better function of heart, lungs and muscles.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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