Imagination is more important than knowledge.

22nd May 2019

Too much screen time is taking its toll on our wellbeing

Day and night, we are continually bombarded by digital products and viewing their screens. Predictably, this has led to many of us having an addiction to some form of screen. Often with little awareness, we are staring at a screen all day long, from our laptop and phone, to our tablet and TV. In our digital age, the ‘screen’ has become the main constant in our lives.

Did you know… too much screen time puts us at risk of experiencing a number of health impacts? Read our guide below and decide if you need to seek ways to engage less with your screen…

Health problems due to constant screen time

Everyone is aware that spending long hours in front of the screen is unhealthy, but not all will know that it can actually lead to illness. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is also known as digital eye strain and caused by prolonged periods of looking at electronic devices such as computers, tablets and phones. The syndrome can result in several symptoms including:

  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain

But why does this occur?

When the eyes spend extended periods of time looking at a screen, they are forced to work harder. Unlike reading from a book or a newspaper, in which the words are more distinguished and sharply defined, the contrast on a screen is significantly reduced and the likes of glare bouncing back from the screen poses more of a threat to an uninterrupted view.

Those who already suffer from poor vision and use eye-sight correction such as glasses or contact lenses are the most likely to be affected by CVS. Studies have found that even those who don’t usually require a general eye prescription may benefit from glasses specifically designed for use in front of the screen to prevent damage.

People who have neck and shoulder pain from sitting in front of screens for too long also need to find ways to deal with these issues like getting in touch with digital healthcare providers like Hinge Health. A lot of the time, they will go to a chiropractor to help ease the pain and correct the issue, others will try shoulder exercises for 6 to 8 weeks, and some will smoke Delta 8 for its pain-relieving qualities — there’s something for everybody!

CVS can be treated through the administration of solution although often simply adjusting the way you view your screen can owe to a reduction in damage to the eye. Simple changes, such as altering your display settings, regularly exercising your eyes and taking frequent breaks from staring at the screen can all prevent the strain caused. Most employers should also have guidelines instructing you on how to set up your workstation appropriately.

Could your pull back on your screen time usage

With all the technological advancements, it almost seems like backtracking to suggest that you should put aside the phones and tablets in exchange for a book, but it’s not. Scientific research has shown that by reading from a physical book or newspaper as opposed to an e-book or your digital copy, you absorb more information. This owes to two main reasons. Firstly, you get less distracted, mostly due to the fact the internet isn’t right at your fingers, and secondly, having the material in your hands helps you visualize just how much you’ve read.

Similarly, if you’ve been working in a job all day that involves focusing on a computer screen and you’re equating to that aforementioned 1,700 hours, then use the evenings to give your eyes a rest. Findings suggest that using a blue light before sleep can disrupt your melatonin and circadian cycles, making the process of getting to sleep a whole lot harder. On the other hand, reading some print is deemed an age-old remedy for those struggling with getting some shut-eye. If the use of computers, or any device, is needed in the evening time it would be a good idea to look into blue light blocking glasses to help reduce the issues that can cause depleted melatonin.

No one is proposing that we scrap all the digital technologies that make our day-to-day life so much better, however, it is worth reassessing the time spent looking at a screen and whether it essential – looking at the same posts repeatedly isn’t.

Turn your phone onto airplane mode at 9 pm, keep track of your time spent on social media, and take in the view straight ahead as opposed to looking down.

Article provided by UK display panels supplier: Where the Trade Buys.

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