The pilot scheme: MEDIA FASTING 2019

An innovative, scientifically monitored hands-on project of Witten/Herdecke University and the Professional Association of Paediatricians (BVKJ)

We really care about children’s health and disease prevention. Through our health-related joint mediafasting initiative, we would like to give families across Germany a chance to deliberately take charge of their health development themselves!

Nowadays, most primary school pupils already own a mobile phone, with numbers steadily rising. Despite the fact that digitization offers great opportunities it may also result in significant health risks for children. The development of their cognitive, sensorimotor and emotional skills is at stake, causing diseases such as obesity, diabetes and ADHD. In many cases, adults are not aware of the risks involved and do not use screen media in a responsible way themselves either. 

In order to be able to help children, adolescents and families acquire life-long health literacy in dealing with digital media, we jointly arrange for the regional mediafasting 2019 pilot scheme. It serves to prevent and reduce the risks of disease (primary prevention), as well as to promote health through self-determined healthy behaviour.

The mediafasting pilot scheme starts in February 2019 and offers 1,500 participating families, who refrain from using digital media during the Christian period of fasting, the opportunity to rebalance their media use. Families fill in questionnaires, and the results thereof will influence further planning and implementation of the entire mediafasting project. The project findings subsequently establish a scientifically sound basis for media fasting throughout Germany, in which EVERYONE may participate each year.

This „surprise calendar“ accompanies families through the Media Fastening period. 
Behind 44 „flaps“ participants will find healthy and cheerful inspiration for each day, motivating them to keep going.
The calendar comprises suggestions for exercises and games, as well as advice on nutrition and personal relationships.

Participating families receive a Media Fasting set
with questionnaires and the „surprise calendar“.

Your Media Fasting Team
On behalf of Witten/Herdecke University:
Dr. med. Silke Schwarz,  Prof. Dr. med. David Martin and
Prof. Dr. med. Arndt Büssing
On behalf of the Professional Association of Paediatricians (Germany): Dr. med. Thomas Fischbach (President), Dr. med. Uwe Büsching and Dr. med. Till Reckert