MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY
• Young people spend nearly 7.5 hours in front of screens each day, almost 4.5 hours of that on television, yet the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children and teens dedicate no more than two hours per day to screen time.
• Meaningful actions hold the prospect of addressing public concerns about the role of media and technology in fostering sedentary behavior, which may only grow as e-sports—video game competitions as spectator sport—and other forms of passive entertainment are developed and embraced by tech and media companies.
• Health marketing campaigns have worked. Media companies partnered with the CDC on the VERB campaign of public service announcements from 2002 to 2004, producing a dose-response effect that “significantly” increased physical activity among tweens.
• In scripted dramas and other programming, show youth engaging in supportive activities.
• Create PSAs that highlight the problem or create that moment of prioritization, then drive them to a website that connects kids with local experiences or programs that facilitate the development of these skills and/or promote activities they can do at home during commercial breaks.
• Through storytelling, challenge the myth that suggests the best athletes focused on one sport before puberty at the exclusion of free play and other sport activities.
• Make the concept of physical literacy “cool” through the use of video clips featuring popular athletes and entertainers who can inspire youth to engage in activities that promote PL.
Social Media Companies
• Donate ad space to messaging that promotes PL.
Video Game Companies and Television Manufacturers
• Embed a software feature that alerts kids when they have hit the AAP’s recommended maximum of two hours of screen time per day, at which point they are encouraged to engage in activities that develop PL.
• Create an interactive game that teaches and measures PL through fun activities.
• Partner with educators and video production firms to design an app with a library of video resources that can be used by teachers, coaches, parents, older siblings and others to integrate PL principles into existing activities.
• Create targeted strategies for each demographic and audience (parents, kids, schools, nonprofit organizations, etc.).
• Reach youth where they are, such as YouTube and social media.
• Develop Spanish equivalencies as well as English messaging that targets a variety of cultures.
• Create a platform that tracks kids’ progress in physical literacy and time in activity and that offers rewards for positive milestones.
• Screen-time media companies rely on screen-time consumption.
Lack of Access to Technology
• Some kids are too young to have mobile devices where they can be reached; others are from low-income homes and cannot afford them.
Costs of Messaging Showing Diversity
• It can take resources and creativity to create programming that reflects diversity and applies to those who aren’t already active.
• In public messaging, media companies may resist using the academic-sounding phrase “literacy.”