“A Healthy Internet Starts with You” Video Series (Parents)

Jointly produced by Education Bureau and Department of Health

Speaker: Dr Thomas CHUNG, Consultant Community Medicine,
Department of Health (Student Health Service)

Episode 4 Physical Health

How can parents tell if their children are using electronic screen products excessively?

Excessive use of electronic screen products can adversely affect children’s visual and musculoskeletal health.

Children may blink less frequently when staring at a screen that can lead to dry eyes.

Prolonged use of electronic screen products in a fixed posture can cause fatigue and musculoskeletal symptoms.

Health Tips

Therefore, we suggest a health tip of “20-20”. Rest for 20-30 seconds after using electronic screen products every 20-30 minutes, such as looking at some distant objects or doing relaxation exercises. These actions are useful to maintain visual and musculoskeletal health.

Another way to protect eyesight is to adopt proper viewing distance. We suggest a health tip of “30-40-50”. Keep reading distance no less than 30 cm when viewing smartphone, 40cm for a tablet or 50cm for a computer. Having a proper viewing distance and making reference to the health tip of “30-40-50” can maintain good eyesight.

Nowadays, many people use their electronic screen products to listen to music or watch movies. These audio entertainment functions could generate sound at harmful level.

Another health tip is “60-60 rule”. Listen at no more than 60% of the mobile product’s maximum volume for less than a total of 60 minutes a day. It is useful to protect hearing.

There is a substantial increase in usage of the Internet and electronic screen products among children. Excessive use of these products can bring about negative impacts on daily activities and sleeping quality.

World Health Organization suggested that children at school age should accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. If children spend too much time on the Internet, they may neglect other important things such as physical activities. Some of them may even delay bedtime or play games before going to bed. These behaviours will affect their sleeping quality.

Parents are advised to act as role models of a balanced lifestyle. This will be easier to help their children spend less time using electronic screen products.

Parents are advised to accompany their children to take part in more physical exercise such as outdoor activities or interest classes, so that they could be engaged in more meaningful activities instead of spending time on screens.

©The Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region 2018

The copyright of this video is reserved for HKSARG. No reproduction of the video is allowed for commercial purposes. School may use part of or whole of the content for non-profit educational purposes.

Student Health Service, Department of Health