Whether it is for school or work, many of us spend countless hours every week in front of a digital screen. According to statistics, the average American spends over 7 hours per day looking at a screen. That accounts for almost a third of the entire day!
A digital screen doesn’t seem to pose many health risks at first glance, but there are actually a number of ways too much screen time can impact your health. By reducing your hours spent on tech, you’ll experience numerous benefits, including the following:
Avoid Constant Headaches
Studies have found that higher/longer exposure to screens increased the risk of developing migraines in young adults. This is because many prefer to complete all their work in one go without taking any breaks. Remember to always take at least 10 minutes every hour to get away from the screen and simply walk around or go talk to someone.
The blue light that is emitted from digital screens can affect your sleep hormones and cycle. If you’re used to working late into the night or spending hours in bed on your phone before you sleep, it might be time to switch up your routine and create a more comfortable schedule.
Reduce Eye Strain
Prolonged use of a digital screen can lead to problems like Computer vision syndrome. This creates discomfort and vision problems. To help avoid this, try not to stare for too long at a screen. Look away and focus on an object in the distance for a few seconds every 20 minutes.
Reduce Stress And Anxiety
If you are constantly providing your brain with new information to manage until right before you sleep (browsing social media, reading from a kindle), then your stress levels are going to be high. Studies have found that stopping screen time a few hours before sleep resulted in reduced levels of anxiety and stress.
Long periods of work or play does not benefit anyone. We lose our focus and ability to think critically if we do not give ourselves a break once in a while. Next time, spend 5 minutes on some other activity after an hour of work and notice the increase in productivity when you get back.
We have all become so used to electronic devices that we have created habits out of using them in all our downtime. Trying to reduce screen time immediately may prove difficult. Here are some methods you can try out:
- Track your screen time and set personal limits – Most new phones have this feature. They can help you identify which apps you spend the most time on.
- Delete unnecessary time-wasting apps
- Change your phone lock to a complicated password – You will be less inclined to pick it up and browse leisurely.
- Set a cut-off time before bed and a wake-up time each morning. Don’t allow yourself to use any electronics except within the set time frames.
- Create tech-free zones around the house and make sure everyone at home follows it.
By reducing screen time, you’re not only benefiting your health, but you’re also freeing yourself up to do some of the other things you love. So, switch off today.