The Powell Pack’s Cure for Couch Potato Syndrome!


Too much media time is an epidemic that seems to be affecting kids and adults all over the world… and sadly, the Powell Pack isn’t immune to the problem either! A love of Xbox and Angry Birds has snuck into our home and taken over WAY too much of our sweet kids’ time. After far too many minutes spent with glazed over eyes and sore thumbs from bird launching, Chris and I developed the perfect way to combat couch potato syndrome: Time spent in front of video games is to be earned with some good ol’ fashioned exercise! A quick circuit, designed by Chris, earns 15 mins of iPad or Xbox time, with a limit of earning a total of 60 minutes a day. The workouts aren’t rigorous, but they’re just enough to keep our littles moving and stave off excessive techno time.

Cash LOVES Angry Birds (like father, like son!), so to earn his time on the iPad, he does:

  • 7 running laps around the pool
  • 10 push ups
  • 10 squats

Matix can’t get enough sports games on the Xbox, so for him to earn 15 mins of video games, he does:

  • 25 pushups
  • 25 jumping pull ups
  • 25 squats
  • 400 m run

I love the idea of not only teaching them to keep electronics to a minimum, but the importance of making exercise a part of their every day lives too. The best part is they’ve learned to love the exercise as much as the time on their electronics, makin’ me one happy mama. πŸ˜‰

With iPods, iPads, computers, phones, and video game systems becoming such an integral part of everyday life, it’s hard to keep our kids from spending too much time on their devices and get them up and moving, but it is so important in the fight against childhood obesity and setting our children up for a successful, healthy future. What are some ways your family limits media time and encourages outdoor play? Any tried and true methods? Share your ideas in the comments below?I would love to hear what works for you!




43 Responses

  1. I have a co-worker whose grandson is addicted to electronics. I will have to tell her about this so she can teach him as well as his parents. Of course, at first, they are/could throw a fit and I think that should cost them playing time as well. Every fit/temper tantrum should require some form of exercise as well. I also feel that the parents should limit their time on electronics, if they are playing games or surfing the web (doing anything else that isn’t work related) and they should time out themselves and also incorporate some form of exercise as well. Kids learn what their parents do!!!

  2. I absolutely love this!! My son has an Xbox and he is obsessed (to say the least). I already limit him to pick either a Friday or Saturday to play and he gets 30 minutes MAX!! I’m going to try and incorporate being active as well! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Why did you buy him an Xbox if he only gets 30 mins a week? Would’ve been easier to just say no to the Xbox!

      Yes, we have an x box, yes my son gets to use it most days when there’s time but with homework and practices it’s not an everyday event. No he’s not overweight and yes he is doing very well in school. Hopefully that answers any questions

  3. I am going to add these to my list. I already make my 5 year old do jumping jacks. Luckily he is in all day Pre K so I only let him play on the computer 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night.

  4. I love this! We have a “Computer Time Bank” for our son as well. In order to get 20 minutes, he needs to complete and online math lesson from his school. I love the idea though of having exercise be a part of that! Thanks for sharing and for inspiring many πŸ™‚

  5. well in the winter because we live in new england we use the will but me and my daughter use it for exercise like the bowling, will fit , and zumba. so we still get our computer game time while we also exercise its not outdoors but due to weather we cant always get out and we do go to a zumba class once a week

  6. What a great way to also teach maintaining balance in your life! Yes you can have cheesecake but not everyday and you’d need to balance that with the other food you will consume AND do some calorie output! Yes you can be a couch potato, but workout earlier in the day…its all about balance. Fantastic ideas.

  7. We have four kids ranging from 7-13 in age. We’ve had the same problems and decided last year that Monday – Thursday there is zero xbox, tablets etc. So Friday after school through Sunday is all they get. It eliminated the issues we were having with always having to monitor it and making sure homework was getting done. The fighting over who’s turn it was… we do allow tv during the week if chores and homework are completed but that can be a group thing verses keeping track of turns. πŸ™‚ Good idea on the work outs though. I will definitely add that to our summer routines!

  8. The same can be said for adults!

    I had knee surgery and the only cardio I could do while rehabbing was the recumbent bike. BORING! i found myself putting it off more and more. Finally, I grabbed my iPad and put Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. I only allowed myself to watch the show while on the bike. It worked like a charm! i couldn’t wait to get on the bike to see what was going to happen next. πŸ™‚

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