With the development of technology, almost everyone is in front of a screen for at least part of the day. Screen time is a necessary activity for most people in the workplace due to the use of computer monitors. Screen time includes time spent looking at your computer monitor, watching television, and looking at your smartphone or tablet. Although most of us are happy being on our devices, excessive time on screens can have negative effects.
Effects of Prolonged Screen Time
- Excessive screen time can lead to higher levels of sedentary behavior which is associated with an increase in diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
- All screens emit blue light which when exposed to at night can suppress melatonin making it harder to get a healthy night’s sleep.
- Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can lead to digital eyestrain, such as dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.
- Screen time can lead to a decrease in socialization with friends and family which can also have a negative effect on mental health.
Ways to Combat the Negative Effects
- Consider eye glasses that offer blue light protection to help keep your eyes safe.
- Set time limits on your devices so you are not spending excessive amounts of time looking at a screen.
- Try not to use devices while spending time with friends or family.
- Turn off all screens before bed.
- Limit screen time by setting a timer.
- Take a walk while at work during breaks.
- Put away devices while eating.
- Instead of watching TV every day for entertainment, find a new activity or spend time outdoors.
Sources: NIH, Mayo Clinic, American Cancer Society, Mental Health America. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.