Fortnite v’s Footy

Last night I called my son 3 times for dinner! He finally loped on in and I felt myself get slightly annoyed as I watched him stumble to the table still watching the screen of the iPad he had in his hands. I was quick to add “put that away now, it’s time for dinner”.

As a modern day parent, I struggle with the ready access kids have to “screen time”. I feel like a bad mum when I see my son constantly playing “Fortnite” but then I feel guilty when I prevent him from playing the games with his friends…whatever happened to play dates and board games? In any case, we have come up with a compromise. For every minute he spends on screen time he is to spend the equivalent time in doing reading or school work. This along with the fact that screen time shouldn’t exceed 2 hours a day (as per the recommendations).

In my mind I have justified that the amount of screen time he has because he still spends quite a lot of time outside with sport/training and kicking backyard footy. Add to this the fact that ALL his chores must be completed before his eyes become glued to the screens, there is very little more that I can argue to keep him off “screen time”.

In saying that, there have been studies comparing the variables of sport and screen time relating to mental health. Kremer et al (2014) related these two variables relating to the depression in young adolescents. The conclusion indicated that those who had higher levels of physical activity, and lower levels of leisure-time screen use had a lower number of depressive symptoms. I am sure there will be many more studies to come, including more longitudinal case studies to identify the longer term effects of these variables…I guess only time will tell!

The other concerning factor (apart from the increasing obesity levels due to passive recreation time exceeding active recreation), is the poor postures resulting from the shift to technology. People are constantly on their phone and/or computers leading to poor posture and slight “hunch back” symptoms. It’s almost ironic that technology is now being brought out to rectify the problems other technology has created. How many times does your fitbit/smart watch tell you to “move”?

At the end of the day technology is an integral part of all our lives from a school, work and social perspective. The fact that we are constantly in front of screens is a challenge to keep kids active. Whilst technology is also used to help us exercise (counting our daily steps and searching for Pokémon ) and will continue to evolve, there is a need to keep our “screen time” balances in check.

Yvette Audet

Yvette Audet

Sport has been an integral part of my life, both work and personal. I grew up with sport, met my husband through sport and now as a mother, am involved more than ever in sport!

As a trainer and consultant in the industry I work with sporting groups and councils to create community facilities and partnerships aimed to increase sport participation.

I have created a range of articles from the perspective of a SPORTING MUM. The articles relate life skills and messages that we can get from being involved in sport. It’s uncanny how Sport can mirror life.


Involved in gymnastics, netball and athletics from an early age, Yvette experienced being part of a team as well as the unrelentless discipline in individual sport – in particular her Heptathlon days.

First became a mum in 2005 and remembers having the inner debate of how long should I play netball while pregnant? Doing quick breastfeeds in between netball games and hoping her uterus wouldn’t feel like falling out when she jumped for the ball.

Funny anecdotes aside, she has worked in the sport and recreation industry for almost 30 years and holds several certificates and degrees around the management and training of sport, community recreation, aquatics and fitness.

Through her various roles in profit and non-profit sectors, she has helped plan for programs, events and facilities to help get communities active through sport and recreation.