Most adults spend several hours every day looking at screens. For many, using a computer, cell phone or tablet is an essential part of their job.Even when adults spend the bulk of their day in front of a screen for work, they often spend their free time watching TV, using social media, or playing video games in an effort to unwind.
How Screen Time Can Impact Your Life
Sitting at a desk and using a computer for several hours a day can lead to eye strain, headaches, poor posture, and back and neck pain. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to obesity, which can increase your risk of developing other serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
For many adults, checking their phones is the last thing they do before they go to bed and the first thing they do in the morning. Electronic devices emit blue light that stimulates the brain and has been shown to interfere with sleep. The content that you’re reading or looking at can also affect your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your rest.
Just having devices around all the time can have a negative impact. Many people can’t resist the urge to check their phone every time they get a notification. Those endless distractions can make it hard to focus on work, reduce your productivity, and make you feel stressed out.
How to Strike the Right Balance
If your job requires you to use a device for several hours each day, you might not be able to change that, but you can work on achieving balance in your life. Take frequent breaks to walk around, stretch, and give your eyes a rest.
When you’re not working, be conscious of how much time you spend using devices. Try to spend no more than a few non-work hours per day using electronics. Go for a walk, work out at the gym, meet up with a friend, or read a book. It’s particularly important to limit your use of electronic devices in the hours before you go to bed and early in the morning.
On your days off, when you have more flexibility, choose activities that don’t involve electronics. Spending time in nature or getting together with loved ones can improve your overall physical and mental health.
Use Devices in Positive Ways
It’s important to note that what you’re looking at online can matter more than the amount of time you spend in front of a screen. Spending hours every day scrolling through social media, looking at posts from people who seem to have perfect lives, can leave you feeling depressed and disconnected, while looking at educational content online can be beneficial. Use devices to learn and engage with others in healthy ways and do your best to avoid content that’s harmful or that would simply be a waste of time.
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