Too Much Screen Time Can Be Dangerous for Your Health: 2 Hours a Day as the Safest Period

Too Much Screen Time Can Be Dangerous for Your Health: 2 Hours a Day as the Safest Period

Too much screen time is hazardous for your heath, and we’re not talking about how long an actor/actress is on the screen in a movie, we’re talking about how long we’ve been staring at our electronic devices each day. Moreover, ever since COVID-19 started, everyone will depends more on electrical devices more than ever, electrical devices like your computer, smartphone, and even television. They rely on these devices to work, study, and self-entertainment, however it is believed that too much screen time is bad for our health.

Screen Time in a Day

Screen time is the amount of time we spend by glaring at our device with a screen such as a smartphone, computer, television, or video game console. Studies shows that screen time can directly impact child development, our mental and physical health, and that’s why having too much screen time is not good. The negative health effects of screen time depends on the  levels and content of screen exposure. So to prevent too much screen time exposure, perhaps we have to place a couple of self-regulations on its usage.

Computer screen or Visual Display Units (VDUs) don’t give out harmful levels of radiation and rarely cause skin conditions, so it was not because of the computer, it was because of the way you’re using the computer. For instance, you might suffer from tension in the back of your hand because of excessive mouse-clicking, or perhaps pain in the neck if you stare at the monitor for a long time without break. So for healthy measures, a couple of breaks is essential when you’re having too much screen time at work.

Zoom fatigue as a result of having too much screen time

Photo is taken from: Nureva

The safest duration of screen time is 2 hours each day, but we can’t just work only for 2 hours each day and expect the same salary, sometimes we have no choice but having too much screen time for the sake of work. So to prevent a bigger damage, a couple of break is a good choice. For example, you can take a 15-minutes break for every 2 hours of screen time, but some research from Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) suggest that taking shorter breaks but more often is way better, like a 5-10 minute break after 50-60 minute screen time.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out of your sitting position, make sure you’re keeping a good posture and comfortable position. Your eyes should have been the same level of height with your screen, and you should rest your eyes during breaks. Make sure you have enough space and don’t sit in the same position for too long. Doing some simple stretching exercises at your desk can be very useful too, make use of your breaks to stand up, move around, shake your arms and legs will help prevent aches and pains and keep your mind and body fresh.

Having Too Much Screen Time for Your Health

Without proper amount of breaks, too much screen time on work may cause negative effects on your health, not so fatal, but very uncomfortable. It cannot cause any long-term or permanent damage to your eyesight, but it can lead to Musculoskeletal Disorders (injuries or disorders of the muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, and spinal discs). Like what we told you, check your posture and take regular breaks away from your desk. As for your eyes, you might experience tired eyes, discomfort temporary short sightedness, and Headaches.

Dr. Charlotte Gore from the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, emphasize that the eye health is the one in danger the most out of too much screen time. She warns us that it has a higher chance of getting general eye strain, fatigue, and even myopia (near-sightedness). Staring at a screen for a long time also causes us to blink less without our notice, which results in dryness, irritation, excessive tears, a burning sensation, and headaches. Beside of physical side effects, it might also affect childrens in psychological aspect, especially in this trying times of COVID.

Speaking of psychological effect of COVID, we have: Grief and Loss, Mental Illness spiking Up in The Midst of COVID-19 Pandemic

UCI Health psychiatrist, Dr. Paramjit Joshi stated that children in the United States between the ages of 8 and 12 were already spending anywhere from four to six hours on screens. It may resulted in a long-term psychological and social effects, it will start from a lack of socialization thanks to the sudden circumstances of COVID-19 that isolate these children, and will lead to anxiety and depression. Worst case scenario for those children who have a hard time fitting in at school, because it’ll be more difficult for the child to fit in once school resumes.

Children on Zoom meetings, getting too much screen time because of the pandemic circumstances.

Photo is taken from: VOI

Somehow it can also affect your weight, by having too much screen time trying to entertain yourself, by playing video games or watching TV. Those digital leasure time can also affect heart health and can lead to a higher risk of diabetes, increased blood pressure or cholesterol. Because you were busy working and playing virtually, your sleep schedule might be in danger too. The lights from your electronic devices stimulate your brain’s sleep cycle and prevent a good night’s sleep, make sure to at least stay away from a screen an hour before bed.

Source: IT Health and Safety: how often should I take a break from my computer?, by Sarah Cushenan, September 2020

How much screen time is too much?, by UCI Health, May 11th, 2020

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