News from the Goetheanum

Medical Section supports 'Media Fasting' initiative

‹Medienfasting› is a project of the University of Witten/Herdecke, the Lifestyle Initiative and the Professional Association of Pediatricians and Youth Physicians (Germany). The Medical Section at the Goetheanum supports the initiative to critically question one's own media consumption once a year through abstention from media use. 

" 'Media fasting' shows you if you really are still free." These words from the research group based around the Chair of Medical Theory, Integrative and Anthroposophical Medicine at the University of Witten/Herdecke, aim to waken us up. Professor David Martin and Doctor Silke Schwarz want to encourage a healthy relationship in dealing with media. This means that once a year - during Lent - screens should be switched off temporarily or only used for specific purposes.

They will accompany this self-imposed restriction scientifically. Silke Schwarz: "We want to find out whether people become more aware of using media through 'media fasting'. In particular, we have parents of small children and younger schoolchildren in mind." The background for this project are research results on health and behavioural disorders in children, up to and including addictions. David Martin emphasises: "We do not want to forego the benefits of digitisation. But we want to find out what we as adults need to do to help children learn a healthy media balance."

They receive support from the Professional Association of Pediatricians and Youth Physicians and the Lifestyle Initiative with a total of 50 childhood experts. "Annual intervals with less screen time serve for a healthy reorientation. It is prevention and therapy for many modern child illnesses," maintain Uwe Büshching and Thomas Fischbach from the professional association of child and youth physicians. Pediatrician Georg Soldner, Deputy Head of the Medical Section at the Goetheanum, also supports the initiative, "so that our children do not miss out on the richness of life." In February 2019, the pilot project 'Media Fasting' will start in North Rhine-Westphalia with 1500 families. 

Medienfasting starting 6. March to 18. April 2019


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