Too much screen time harms you; here’s what to do about it.

Nowadays, everyone’s life is surrounded by screens. While there is mounting evidence that screen time will harm adults and children, you can improve your health by reducing it. Learn about the negative consequences of excessive time on an electronic device and how to restrict your usage of gadgets.

The health consequences of screen time

According to one survey, youths and young adults in the United States spend a minimum of 7.5 hours per day on average using digital devices, excluding time spent on a screen in school-related activities and assignments.

Here are a few ways that spending too much time in front of a screen might harm your health. 

Obesity: Spending too much time sitting, playing video games or watching television, for example, can be a risk factor for obesity. Heart health is also influenced, which can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol.

Sleep issues: The light emitted by electronic gadgets disrupts the brain’s sleep cycle and can prevent you from getting a decent night’s sleep.

Chronic neck and back pain: Excessive screen usage can cause bad posture and persistent neck, shoulder, and back pain. Instead of sitting, take breaks to walk around, stand, or stretch. Ensure your chair has adequate back support and the device is at eye level. 

Anxiety and depression: All of your screen time can hurt your mental and emotional well-being. According to experts, increased screen time and sadness may be linked, as well as increased suicidal behavior and a decreased capacity to interpret emotions.

How to can you reduce it ?

Track screen time: Given that many people undervalue the amount of time they spend on their phone, keeping track of how much screen time is being clocked and what it is being used for could be useful.

Switch off notifications: When your phone is continuously buzzing with notifications from chats or social media platforms, it’s difficult to concentrate. Looking at your phone when you’re ready and done with other activities keeps you from being constantly distracted.

Don’t always have your phone on you: Put your devices away at work, during chats and activities with friends, and don’t bring them to meals. It’s better not to bring your phone to bed when it’s time to sleep. Set it to airplane mode or do-not-disturb mode if necessary.

So, how much screen time is ideal? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against screening children under 18 to 24 months. Children above two should have no more than one to two hours of screen use per day. Adults should also make an effort to restrict their screen usage after work.

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