Screen time refers to the amount of time spent looking at a screen such as a smartphone, computer, tablet or television. Most of us spend our free time in front of screens as we scroll through social media or watch our favourite TV shows.
Today, adults spend on average more than 7 hours each day looking at a screen (Source: DataReportal.com). There are consequences that come with spending too much time staring at screens.
Physical health effects
- Neck and back pain from not maintaining proper posture.
- Eye strain due to staring at the screen for too long.
- Dry eyes due to not blinking as much.
Mental health effects
- Attention problems due to receiving plenty of notifications and new information which makes it difficult to focus.
- Anxiety and depression from comparing yourself to others on social media.
- Sleep deprivation due to blue light from screens that prevent you from feeling sleepy.
How to manage your screen time
- Set a schedule for when to use your phone. For example, go on social media only after you have finished work.
- Use features on your devices that help set limits on screen time.
- Balance your screen time with physical activities. Increase physical activities that keep you from using your phone.
- Set rules. For example, no phones allowed during meals or family time.