During the winter, it’s easy to spend more time with your screen. But too much screen time can have negative effects on your health. Now that daylight savings time has begun, it’s time to think about reducing your screen time.
How Can Reducing Screen Time Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle?
The average screen time for Americans is 7 hours and 4 minutes per day. Too much screen time can impact everything from your mood to your sleep habits. Its effects extend to your whole body, and getting away from your screen can save more than just your eyes. While screens provide entertainment and keep us connected, limiting screen time can have the following health benefits.
Whether you’re scrolling social media, playing video games, or working on the computer, screens increase stress on your central nervous system and increase the stress hormone, cortisol. By taking time away from screens, you can balance out these chemicals in your body. As a result, you might find yourself with a better, more stable mood, less anxiety and depression, and even improved empathy toward others.
Improve Sleep Habits
The blue light from screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it harder to sleep. If you scroll social media, work on your laptop late at night, or even watch TV before bed, your body struggles to produce melatonin to help you fall and stay asleep.
With the light from your screen and the constant mental activity that comes with being online or working, you trick your brain into thinking it’s time to stay awake, even when you want to go to bed. Limiting screen time, especially within two hours of when you plan to go to bed, helps your body regulate your sleep schedule and get more sleep while improving your sleep quality.
Better Focus and Brain Function
Using screens affects everything from your attention span to your empathy levels. The internet offers an instant reward for small, low-effort tasks, which can reduce your attention span, patience, and impulse control. In turn, you may feel less focused and unable to control your emotions effectively.
By reducing screen time, you allow your brain to slow down and focus on tasks without distraction. Over time, this increases your ability to focus as well as regulate emotions and helps you organize thoughts and tasks.
Boost Physical Activity
When you spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen, you have less time to be physically active. Studies have shown that more screen time increases the likelihood of obesity. Low physical activity can lead to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and joint problems.
Reducing screen time can open more time in the day for physical activity that keeps your body healthy. Increased physical activity encourages healthy joints, helps regulate blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and manages weight to create a healthy lifestyle.
Spending more time in front of screens can lead to poor posture from slouching in front of them. Over time, poor posture can lead to back pain, spinal problems, and cause damage to nerves, ligaments, and tendons. By taking time away from screens and increasing physical activity, you can decrease back pain and keep your joints flexible and healthy.
Reduce Eye Strain
Exposure to blue light from screens can cause eye strain, headaches, dry and itchy eyes, and blurry vision. While there are ways to protect against this blue light, like glasses that block it, that’s no substitute for reducing screen time. Getting away from screens means you blink more naturally, which keeps your eyes from drying out and helps with maintaining comfortable vision.
Tips for Reducing Screen Time
When you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, it can be hard to find ways to spend that time without your computer, phone, or TV. Start by reducing the time you spend in front of screens at specific parts of the day. If you’re looking for ways to fill that time, try these activities:
- Spend time outside
- Read a physical book
- Pick up a new hobby
- Spend time with family
- Cook a meal
- Get together with friends
Make sure that when you use screens, you take frequent breaks to stretch and move. Don’t use your phone within two hours of going to bed. Avoid reaching for your phone and scrolling social media right after waking up. Making these small changes can make a big impact on your health.
Jai Medical Systems wants to ensure that you and your family live life well. To find out how to join Jai Medical Systems, contact Jai Medical Systems today.