Written By Pearl Tsui / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Lately, it seems like we’re spending more time than ever on our phones, computers, and tablets. Zoom lectures, business meetings and staying in touch with our friends seems to have us stuck in front of a screen more than we’d normally like.
Of course, we’ve all heard that staring at a screen too long isn’t healthy – but it’s not often that anyone goes out of their way to explain the good of limiting our screen time. If you’ve been needing a push to start using your phone less, have a look at the health benefits of reducing your screen time:
Chances are you’re a little hunched over while you’re reading this post – it might seem like a minor problem, but studies such as this one find that prolonged smartphone use leads to poor posture and even worse, damage to your spine.
That’s not to say that you need to go cold turkey and stop using your phone entirely – just limit your time in a manageable way for yourself and when you do need to use your smartphone, be mindful of your posture and make it a habit to sit with good posture.
A lot of us are a little guilty of scrolling through our phone in bed before we go to sleep – unfortunately, that does impact the quality of sleep we have. Studies such as the ones mentioned by Health Link have found that teens are quite affected by spending using devices before bed.
Sleeping problems - such as taking a long time to sleep - as well as other issues like poor concentration were prevalent in those who used their devices more.
Additionally, poor sleep can eventually lead to chronic conditions like obesity and increase your risks for other medical issues such as heart attacks.
Making little changes like quitting all screen use at least an hour before bed can help you get your sleep routine back on track.
More conscientious eating habits
Have you ever sat down with some snacks to watch a few episodes of your favorite show on Netflix only to find that you’ve plowed through all your snacks without even realizing it? Unfortunately, staring at our TVs or laptops all day is an easy way to get into the habit of mindless eating and subsequent weight gain.
Additionally, when we eat meals in front a screen, they distract us from noticing the signals that our bodies send when we’re full and we end up eating more than we normally would.
So, instead of turning on the big screen when you’re having dinner, try to be mindful and set your focus on the plate in front of you.
Improved Mental Health
These days, there seems to be a lot to worry about – so much so that it’s tempting to go on your phone and scroll through social media to take your mind off things. But did you know that excessive screen time affects your mental well being?
Studies like this one published in the NCBI found an association between increasing screen time and poor mental health, which can show up as anxiety, depression, poor relationships with those around you and poor emotional stability.
Rather than using screen time to take your mind off things, you could try taking the time to reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in a while or even try out a new hobby. Small changes are better than none!
Improved eye health
Staring at a screen all day can unsurprisingly negatively impact our eyes. Some research shows that the blue light from our devices can damage the nerve cells behind our eyes, leading to eye strain and dry eyes.
If you can’t avoid looking at a screen for a prolonged period, looking away from the screen at least every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away can help reduce the strain on your eyes. Otherwise, increasing the font size of text and keeping your screen at an arm’s distance from your face are other measures you can take to keep the strain off your eyes.
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Pearl Tsui is a writer for Rank-It.ca as well as a nursing student from Alberta, Canada. When she’s not writing or learning in a hospital, you can find her taking nature walks and feeding outdoor cats cat treats.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.