The Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition Program is encouraging families and communities across Colorado to participate in "Turnoff Week," by turning off their televisions and video games for seven days, April 20 through 26. The event is designed to fight obesity, improve literacy and encourage stronger community involvement.

Eric Aakko, director of the program that is based at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said, "The average American spends nine hours each day in front of electronic-screened media. In the course of a year, Americans spend more time in front of a screen than in school, at work or in bed asleep. Turning off the television is one small step individuals and families can take toward a healthier lifestyle."

Aakko said the purpose of Turnoff Week is to take an extended break from screens, which consume so much of our free time. "It's a chance to read, be more physically active, converse, think, create and do. We want to link people back into their communities by reminding them to utilize their local resources such as parks, trails, playgrounds and recreation centers," he said.