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Too Much Screen Time!

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Are you getting those weekly notifications on your phone letting you know how much screen time you have logged?

It seems like we are always “connected” and “plugged-in”!

In today’s society, the reality is that screens are everywhere. If it’s not a TV screen, it’s a cell phone, tablet, or computer screen. In many households, the TV is on, ALL the time.

Negative effects

Sore Neck Syndrome or Text Neck

Text neck is a new term which describes that pain in your neck from constantly looking down at your cell phone for too long. Neck and upper back pain seems to be getting increasingly more common. One way to avoid this is to take frequent breaks throughout the day.

Less active

When you’re at or on a screen, your standing, sitting or lying down, not really moving your body. The less you move, the more likely you are to gain weight. The more weight you gain, the more likely you are to have health issues.

Time Wasting

Who hasn’t gone to their Facebook account to check one thing and ended up lost in it for an hour or more? We are so afraid of missing some important message or bit of news, that we keep connected to people we haven’t spoken to in ages.

What is the Recommended Daily Screen time?

Under 2: 0 hours

Ages 2- 5: one hour or less

Over 5: 2 hours or less

How can you reduce screen time?

The average adult spends close to 11 hours a day on a computer. Add to that the number of times they are checking their phone. Many of us use the computer to do our work, so it becomes difficult to limit its use. If cutting back is not feasible for you, what can you do to minimize the negative effects of too much screen time?

If the work you do requires you to sit for long periods at a computer, it’s important to make an effort to take regular breaks from it each day. Try to incorporate 30 minute of walking into your day and leave your phone behind. Resist the urge to listen to a podcast with earphones while you are walking. Even if you break it up into 2 15-minute walks, that would be beneficial. When you are on your computer, set a timer to take breaks every 2 hours or so.

Keep track

You could start tracking how much time you and your family members spend texting, answering emails, browsing Facebook, reading news or online shopping. The next step would be to look at ways you could cut down on that time, and place limits.

Replace Screen time with Other Activities

It’s easy to fill time on our cell phones when we have nothing else to occupy our minds with. But what if you signed up for a fitness class or joined a walking group? Use your down time for something other than the internet. Go for a walk, join a friend at a coffee shop, call a friend for a chat, or read for a bit. Don’t keep your phone by your bed, and remember to turn off notifications, or at least the sound of notifications.  By limiting your screen time, you’ll be able to think more clearly and creatively. Now who wouldn’t want that?

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