The Ongoing Risks of Too Much Screen Time
By Genevieve Cunningham
We live in a world full of screens. We literally see them almost everywhere we go. When we're at home, we have our TV screens. When we're at work, we have computers. We see them at the doctor's office, at the grocery store, even on mass transportation. And of course, we always have a tiny little screen in our pockets. There are a lot of advantages to being so plugged in -- instant information, easy access to others. Unfortunately, there are a lot of disadvantages too. If you're heavy into technology, take a look at these risks of too much screen time, and then make a plan to find some balance.
Screens encourage us to be still. And because whatever is on the screen is usually interesting, we happily oblige. But over time, this inactivity catches up with us. Inactivity has been linked to weight gain, blood clots, poor mental health, and more. And screens aren't helping us stay active in our everyday lives.
This is a problem that sneaks up on us. You may suddenly notice that you have to squint a little to see the screen. Then you may have to make the words bigger. We shrug this off as a normal side effect of aging, but it may actually be damage from screens! If you've noticed a decline in eyesight, see your eye doctor and make a plan to cut back.
When kids use screens too often, they can become hyperactive. It's a phenomenon that has been studied and proven time and again. Try cutting screens out of your children's lives, and you may notice a serious decline in hyper behavior. But make sure you give it time. It will take a while for your kids -- and you! -- to adjust to the new normal.
Are you finding it difficult to sleep? It might be because of the light from screens. The blue light that emanates from most digital devices messes with our natural sleep rhythms. If you turn them off for a while before bed, you may find that falling asleep is suddenly a lot easier than you remembered.
Bad moods are incredibly common with the overuse of screens. You see it most often -- or perhaps most obviously -- with children, but irritability can happen to adults too. Screens keep our brain stimulated. Keep them constantly moving and working. When we turn off the stimulation, it ruins our mood. If you've noticed a bit of irritability, cut back and see how you feel.
Screens can be so good. So beneficial. But if we're not careful, they can also be really bad for our overall well-being. Be smart about your screen habits, and do all you can to find a good balance. With some good decisions, you can reap the benefits of screens without putting yourself in harm's way.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Charleston, S.C.