Screen time affects our health

Screen time is impacting our health

We all know that screen time is a buzz word and really a huge concern across all age groups. As I work with parents and teachers, I hear that kids are having issues focusing in school, getting things finished, and they can’t stay on task. Sometimes, they are appearing to be more aggressive. This is no coincidence that screen time has gone up drastically in our lives as well as our children’s lives.

There is a ton of preliminary research out there that is supporting the theories that screen time is bad for us. I barely typed in screen time and got dozens of research articles supporting these theories. We are not heading in the right direction regarding our health both physically and emotionally, because of all of our distractions.

The common side effects noted for too much screen time – which adults average checking their phones 80 times each day, 80 TIMES…kids are on screens an average of seven hours each day. SEVEN HOURS.

Aggression, lack of focus…can you imagine being a teacher these days? Some of you are, and, I thank you for that. There is also a lot of data that is linking depression, anxiety, and obesity to our sedentary lifestyles. Here’s the deal. We have the time to do more fun things – once we get off our phones.

What can we do?

There are a number of apps that track your time on your phone and will cut you off after a certain amount of time. That’s a start. (Here’s an article that discusses a few of the apps.) But, I took the plunge and order a new Light 2 phone. It’s literally only for phone calls and text messages and it also stores a little bit of music. Perfect. I’ll let you know how it goes as it isn’t arriving until July. And, I honestly cannot wait.

Because I have been tracking my time on my phone and I definitely see a correlation between eye strain as well as headaches and dizziness the more I use my phone. If you want to read more about this “dumb phone,” click here. I get nothing back from these companies – I just really see it daily what an issue our society is struggling with and hope these steps can be helpful.

In addition to limiting screen time or switching up your phone to decrease temptations, try to spend more time in nature. I read through a lot of research that mentions people having anxiety because they fear to be bored. That breaks my heart. We are so connected with our external world that we have really lost a little bit of touch with ourselves. Get outside. Play. Take deep breaths, get exercise, enjoy a cup of tea with a friend, or, a sporting event…and, create healthy sleep routines at night time.

Computer use – -well, I am working on lessening that, but, it’s tricky. For now, I am good about getting up every hour for 10 mins to walk around, stretch, get a cup of tea, take some deep breaths, and focus my eyes on nature, if possible.

For a while I blamed being on my phone a lot because of working a lot, but, honestly, it’s a mix of personal and work. And, I am ready to get at least a few hours back each week just by turning off my smartphone…until my dumb phone arrives:)

 

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