As the world becomes more reliant on technology, the hours spent looking at screens have increased. In a recent study, statistics showed that adults spend 5 hours per day looking at phone screens alone, on top of other devices in the home.
When you take into account the number of jobs that require regular use of computers, many adults end up spending a large majority of their day staring at screens. Although this is typically unavoidable, it’s important to take regular breaks to help mitigate the negative side effects. In this article, we cover three signs that may indicate it’s time to step away from your screen.
Eyestrain is the most common symptom of excessive screen time. When your eyes are focused on one thing for a long period of time, the muscles become tense and strained. This can be worsened by looking at a screen, as your eyes are exposed to heightened glare.
If you’re suffering from eyestrain, your eyes may feel dry and tired, and it can even cause headaches. It’s best to take a break from your desk as soon as you start experiencing these symptoms. Step away, and move around your space. This can be helpful because your eyes have been fixed on a nearby object, so they need to refocus at different distances in order to resume normal function.
Headaches or even migraines can develop as a result of too much screen time and are usually caused by the strain on your eyes. However, headaches can also occur as a result of disrupted sleep, which is a frequent complaint among late-night screen users. The blue light emitted from electronic devices can alter the hormone production in your brain, disrupting your circadian rhythm and resulting in restless nights.
It’s important to take a break from your desk as soon as headaches start to occur, as continuous strain can make the pain worse. You can also try adjusting the brightness and contrast on your device, and consider purchasing some blue light-filtering glasses to reduce headaches.
Aches and Pains
Sitting in a fixed position for a long period of time isn’t natural for your body, so it’s common to experience some discomfort. A common symptom is back, neck, and leg pain, which is typically caused by a poor desk setup.
To help mitigate these aches, do some research on the ideal desk setup, and compare it against yours. You’ll likely find that some of your equipment either isn’t up to the task or isn’t positioned correctly. If you’re not sure where to start, consider purchasing a new chair. You’re likely sitting down for most of the day, so your chair needs to be supportive and ergonomic.
When Should You Take a Break?
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’re already experiencing symptoms you believe could be linked to excessive screen usage. If that’s the case, it’s time to step away and give your body a break. Work is important, but your health should always come first, so listen to your body when it tells you something’s wrong.
Shaun Trafford is a copywriter who specializes in offline content. He graduated from university in London and now spends his spare time creating blogs that help professionals live healthier lives. Trafford is an advocate for living a healthy lifestyle and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. When he’s not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his friends and family.