The Effect of too Much Screen Time on your Health: 5 ways to slow down

It is very obvious that our use of personal technology has become an addiction. For me, it is not different from drugs. Some days it seems that everyone is addicted to their smartphones! You cannot walk through a single block of a city without meeting someone, and sometimes many people trying to text and walk or browsing from one social media platform to another. These people are not willing to give their device a break despite the massive awareness about the effect of too much screen time.

While most studies on screen time focus on its effect on children and their development, it is important to keep in mind that screen time can also have negative effects on adults. It is undeniable that the individual’s screen time has increased significantly in the last decade. In fact, a 2014 Nielsen report establish that adults recorded a total of approximately 11 hours of screen time per day.

Why it is difficult to put down our phones?

Researchers do not know for sure why smartphones are addictive, but they have some ideas. Perhaps the phone itself, like the enjoyable sensation of unlocking or touching the screen. It could as well be the feedback loops rings created by applications such as Instagram and Facebook. Almost all the biggest technology giants have protested strongly against the evils of this addiction in recent years, and many have started introducing tools or features that limit or track screen time. But they have financial incentives not to go too far in that direction.

The Effects too Much Screen Time

In addition to the recurring strain injury that we experience in our hands, the following are the different ways in which your health can be adversely affected by spending so much time tied to screen.

  • More screen time is equal to more weight: Research confirms that little as two hours of watching television per day can increase the risk of diabetes, overweight, and heart disease in adults. Many factors likely to be blamed include a sedentary lifestyle, general bad eating habits, and fewer hours of sleep when absorbed into a screen.

  • Vision problems: Watching the screen for long periods of time can cause “computer vision syndrome.” The Symptoms includes dry eyes, strained, blurred vision, and headaches. Chronic neck and back pain: Bad posture when using the screens can cause chronic shoulder, neck, and back.

  • Lack of sleep: Studies have linked the use of smartphones and computers to increase sleep problems. The blue light of digital devices prevents melatonin, the sleep-promoting hormone and prevents us from sleeping comfortably.

  • Weak cognitive function: Cognitive imaging studies have established that too much screen time will lead to less efficient information processing.

  •  Increases mortality risk: Studies have shown that spending a lot of time with screens, whether televisions, computers, tablets, or smartphones, lowers cardiovascular health and increases the mortality risk.

How to cut down on your screen time 

  • Deactivate almost all notifications: This is an amazing trick. Initially, you will automatically open your phone to see if you missed a notification. Later, as the days go by, your unlocks will become less frequent as you find out that there is nothing waiting there for you. You can allow only email message notifications (for key people, such as your colleagues and managers), and Google Calendar only.
  • Delete social media apps: Yes, I said it, I’m serious. No one will die without Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc. If that is too much, you can use your smartphone’s Screen Time feature to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media apps.
  • Stop taking so many photos: Stop taking lots of pictures: Just like how Over-googling prevents your mind from holding information, taking pictures prevents your mind from forming real memories. In three studies, people who did not take photos during an occurrence had more detailed memories than those who did. I think this should be enough reason to slow down a bit.
  • Leave your phone behind: On weekends, you can give your phone a break, maybe hours, leave your phone and spend more time "living in the moment" and away from your screen.
  • Do not use your smartphone as an alarm: One minute you are trying to set your morning alarm and the next 30 minutes, you find yourself in other apps. Keeping your phone away from the bedroom will help reduce screen time, it can also reduce anxiety. A recent study revealed that people who sleep close to their smartphones are more likely to report monophobia.

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