Why too much screen time is dangerous for grown-ups too
The dangers of too much screen time for children has been widely reported – we know this can lead to obesity, anti-social behaviour and poor sleeping habits.& However, the effects of screen time on adults has been less studied, probably because most adults have to sit at a computer for eight hours a day for work, so cutting down on their screen time is not a simple choice.& Actually, when we add our work screen time to our smart phone usage (Facebook and Instagram in particular), our tablets usage and to our TV time, many adults are actually having as 12 hour’s screen time per day!&&
Too much screen times causes adults a multitude of problems such as headaches, tired and dry eyes, fatigue, migraines, failing eyesight and neck and back problems and weight gain. It can also cause repetitive stress injuries such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome plus stress and sleep troubles. &Employees may also worry about the quality of their employee performance as when we stare at computers for too long our brain’s grey matter to shrink and the white matter (which helps us to communicate well) gets impaired. Both issues lead to poor cognitive performance.&
Dealing with the negative effects of screen time is a problem employers should address if they want to keep a healthy work force.& We’ve done our research and come up with some solutions for employers and employees to help reduce the unhealthy impact of screen time:
12 IDEAS TO LESSON THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF SCREEN TIME
- Get a humidifier for the office to moisten the air so eyes don’t get so dry from staring at screens.
- Give your eye lids a gentle massage every so often which will increase oil production by the Meibomian glands.
- Stretch and look away from your screen every thirty minutes and try to focus on something in the distance.
- Learn some ‘chair yoga’ moves and practice them regularly whilst working
- Try to get up and walk around the office when you’re speaking on the phone – you could use a headset.
- Use technology to help remind you to stretch and take breaks such as Move for iOs or Microsoft’s Big Stretch Reminder.
- Keep your mouse close to you so you don’t over stretch and twist your arm and shoulders.
- Be conscious of having good posture as you sit; try to keep your head up and your back straight and avoid straining forwards to look at your screen.
- Eat a diet rich in Omega 3 or take a supplement to maintain good eye health and don’t eat in front of a screen (people tend to over eat in this way), designate proper meal times and stick to them.
- If you’re an Employer give a TED talk on combatting the dangers of screen time and share your knowledge.
- As an Employer, practice what you preach and encourage employees to take stretches, breaks and to go outside to eat their lunch.
- When you go home try to limit your screen time before going to bed; try reading a book in bed rather than surfing the net and checking your social media – this will help to encourage peaceful sleep.