Four Health Benefits You’ll See When You Start Limiting Screen Time
There’s currently lots of data out there decrying the risks of too much screen time for children and teens. In reality, though, adults aren’t doing much better in the tech department, and it’s seriously affecting various aspects of their health and well-being.
A recent study found that the average adult spends eleven hours per day in front of a screen. It’s true that many of those hours are work hours, but plenty are also dedicated to entertainment and spending time on social media sites.
If you need some convincing that too much screen time is not ideal, keep reading. Listed below are four benefits that you’ll experience when you start to prioritize stepping away from the screen.
1. Better Sleep
Quality sleep is essential for overall health, and the majority of adults aren’t getting enough of it. In fact, only three out of five adults are getting the recommended seven-plus hours of sleep per night.
Poor sleep increases your risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. It also increases your chances of overeating and gaining weight and negatively affects your cognitive function.
One of the easiest ways to enhance your sleep quality is to limit your exposure to blue light from computer, TV, and phone screens, especially in the evening. Ideally, distancing yourself from the screen 2-3 hours before bed is best. If you can’t do this, at least make the hour before bed a screen-free time -- read a book or listen to music instead.
2. Reduced Stress and Anxiety
In addition to negatively affecting your sleep, excess screen time can also contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety by overloading your brain with distractions.
Think about it -- when you see the little red notification button pop up on your screen, can you ignore it and go about your day? If you’re like most people, the answer is no. You have to check that email or tweet.
When you’re constantly being pinged throughout the day, your brain doesn’t have time to deal with all the information being thrown at you. This leaves many people feeling drained and overwhelmed, and it also doesn’t do their productivity at work any favors.
Try turning off notifications on your apps and limit checking emails and texts to certain hours of the day. It’s also best if you can avoid checking emails and work messages when you’re at home -- this makes it difficult for you to actually unwind and get the rest you need to tackle another day at your job.
3. Less Wrist and Hand Pain
Whether you use a desktop or a laptop computer, spending hours a day typing and scrolling on the computer isn’t doing your wrists and hands any favors.
Many people struggle with repetitive strain injuries like tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of the amount of time they spend on the computer, either for work or for entertainment.
Limiting your screen time will give your wrists and hands a much-needed break. Even if you’re using the computer for work, taking a few minutes once every hour to rest your hands can make a big difference.
You can also look into using wrist braces or hand-strengthening tools while you’re at work, too. But, remember that these devices aren’t an excuse to neglect your computer breaks -- they’re just meant to make the work easier on your hands and wrists.
4. More Time to Exercise
Are you someone who claims they don’t have time to exercise? Would you be able to if you weren’t dedicating nearly fifty percent of your day to sitting in front of a screen?
It’s understandable that you want to relax and decompress after a long day of work. But, what if, instead of using TV time as an opportunity to unwind, you went for a walk, bike ride, or took a trip to the gym?
Not only is regular physical activity essential for all aspects of your physical and mental health, but it will also help you be a more productive and effective employee at work. Research shows that people who exercise regularly get more done during the day and have better interactions with their co-workers.
Even if you can’t completely give up screens, exercising consistently will help you be more efficient when you do have to be in front of the computer or phone.
Are you convinced that your life might be a little better if you limited your screen time? Are you ready for better sleep, a better mood, more time to exercise, better productivity, and less joint pain?
By decreasing the amount of time you spend in front of your computer, TV, or phone -- even by just an hour or two -- you can soon start experiencing all these benefits!