We are all guilty of having too much screen time, whether by endlessly scouring through YouTube, blogging, or working from your computer. It’s a habit we get into easily and it’s hard to know you’re doing it, and for some it can be even harder to break from spending too much time on your computer!
However, there are plenty of ways to break up your time on the computer, as sitting around for long periods of time isn’t good for your physical or mental health. In this article, we are going to look at how too much computer time could be affecting you.
Sitting for Too Long
Regardless of whether you are being productive or not when on your computer, sitting for too long can cause soreness and many other health problems. If you’re busy working all day, you may find that you sit at your desk for hours on end, with the exception being bathroom breaks and lunch. Yale Medicine researched the questions: is sitting bad for your health? Their conclusion is that sitting for too long and being desk-bound can cause poor blood flow in the lower part of the body, bad posture, aches and pains, and increased risk of heart disease.
Another impact of spending too much time at your computer is the damage it can do to your eyes. Your eyes will soon strain if you aren’t giving them adequate breaks – and that doesn’t mean looking away from your computer and going on your phone instead! Other symptoms of this can be headaches, trouble focussing and light sensitivity. Although it’s not a serious condition, it can cause you a lot of discomfort and will likely have an impact on the work you’re doing.
Humans weren’t made to stare at a screen endlessly every day. No matter how you look at it, sitting at a screen and being constantly distracted isn’t good for our mental health or wellbeing. In order to be happy, we must be present, and it is all too easy to get lost in endless social media streams. To make your screen time more productive, make sure your social media is only providing positive vibes and be sure you aren’t spending too much time on things that aren’t making you happy or a better person afterward. If you can’t stop looking at social media or scrolling through YouTube, it might be that you need to take a break.
What Can You Do if You Work from Home?
So, the above might be well and good, but what can you do if you work from home and your computer is your main source of information and how you work? Here is where you need to find ways to work smarter and healthier, to give your posture a break. If you are brainstorming ideas or trying to write a blog post, why not switch to paper and sit outdoors? This way you can get some fresh air and really pay attention to your words.
When we type on the computer, we often type quickly, without paying as close attention to our words. Writing on paper allows us to slow down, really focus on our words and can be a nice break to get back to basics. You may also want to invest in a tablet with a keyboard, so you can work when out and about or in your backyard, if you need a break from your desk. If you do need to work on your computer, take regular breaks, ensure your desk is set out ergonomically and do regular desk exercises.
To prevent eye strain, there are a number of recommendations that have been found to be effective. This includes:
- Looking away from your screen regularly. Some follow the 20/20 rule of looking at your screen for 20 minutes, and then taking a 20 second eye break
- Use the right lighting (make sure you aren’t positioned somewhere with lots of sunlight glaring on your screen)
- Adjust the brightness settings on your screen
- Make sure your screen and chair is positioned at the righ angle for your eyes (it should be about 20-25 inches away)
Spending too much time on your computer may be causing physical problems and can also be detrimental to your mental health. If you work from home, follow the above advice to ensure you stay healthy while working.
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