Apr 19, 2015

Whether it be your computer, cell phone, or TV, we all know we spend too much time looking at screens. Screens are part of our daily lives – we rely on them for work, school, shopping, connecting with loved ones, and more. 

The team at Origo wanted to raise awareness about the risks of too much screen time and ways to create healthy habits when it comes to our digital devices.

Effects of too much screen time

On average, adults spend 11 hours connected to a screen – almost half of our day. Aside from adults, 8-12-year-olds spend nearly five hours on a screen per day, teenagers spend seven and a half hours, and those 65 and older spend 10 hours.

While many adults need to use technology to work or stay organized, that still leaves hours spent on a phone in their free time. Too much screen time can lead to several health problems, including:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Poor sleep and insomnia
  • Back, shoulder, and neck pain
  • Carpal tunnel and tendonitis
  • Issues with being sedentary, like heart disease and obesity

Tips for a better relationship with your screens

Screen time isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Our devices allow us to easily connect with friends and family, help us learn about our interests and the world, and can provide stress relief and entertainment.

While screens are an essential part of nearly everyone’s day, it doesn’t hurt to unplug every once in a while. Here are a few tips for creating a healthy relationship with your screens:

  • Create screen-free zones. Make designated places in your home device-free, like bedrooms and the dinner table. This will help make you more connected to the people around you and create boundaries to using your phone.
  • Set limits. Some phones let you set limits for how long you use each app. Set a goal for your screen time and create limits accordingly.
  • Turn off non-essential notifications. Notifications are an easy way to be distracted. Turning off notifications to non-essential apps, like social media and games, can be an easy way to stop checking your phone often.
  • Avoid using screens in bed. There’s nothing like getting in your cozy bed at the end of a long day, but using screens in bed may be keeping you up longer. Avoid using screens in bed to prevent late-night Netflix binges or scrolls through social media.
  • Reconnect with your screen-free hobbies. Many people use their devices when they’re bored. Reconnect with, or find, a screen-free hobby to get your mind off of the endless scrolling.
  • Keep your friends and family in check. We’ve all been around a loved one who can’t seem to put their phone down. Hold each other accountable to be more present and screen-free.

Avoiding screens today is nearly impossible, but you don’t have to avoid screens altogether to have a healthier relationship with them. We hope these tips help you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to what matters to you most!