04. Wellness

5 Ways that Lessened Screen Time Improves Your Overall Health

January 14, 2020

With the New York Post reporting that we spend almost half of our waking hours facing a screen, it's safe to say that we live in a digital world. But while our devices do connect us to friends, family, and work, it's important to be mindful of just how much time we spend engrossed in them. After all, lessening screen time wherever possible can provide some key benefits for your overall health.

1. Enhanced Memory

A quick Google search can save you time and energy, as it provides you with facts and figures almost instantly. However, solely relying on the Internet for information can impair your intelligence, as being dependent on Google can diminish your memory and problem-solving skills.

However, this doesn't mean that you have to quit search engines entirely. To strike the right balance between digital convenience and brain health, do a web search only when you absolutely have to and the information you need can only be found online. But if it's a word stuck at the tip of your tongue or a piece of information you already know, then it's best to skip Google and try to remember it yourself. This will help improve your cognitive skills in the long term.

2. Better Sleep

Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep every night is key to leading a healthy life. But this can be quite the challenge, since it can be tempting to watch just one more episode or scroll through social media feeds instead of going to bed. But more than that, Verywell Health reveals that the blue light on digital devices can disrupt circadian rhythms, and therefore cause insomnia. This means the less time you spend looking at a screen, the higher your chances are of getting a good night's rest.

3. Improved Mental Health

Mental health troubles are on the rise, especially among the youth. One of the biggest culprits behind this is screen time, as a University of Montreal study has found that higher levels of screen time are linked to depression and other mental health concerns. These can have severe implications on one's everyday life. Case in point, psychologists from Maryville University have found that learning success is connected to mental health in ways that scientists are only beginning to fully understand. If your mental health is in jeopardy, then your academic or work performance will likely follow suit. So, try making simple changes like stopping the use of devices before bed or practicing a non-digital hobby that can help you alleviate the problem and boost your own mental health.

4. Better Posture

When using a device, the tendency is for you to be slouching or hunching. And the more time you spend using one, the longer your body will be in an unnatural position. This can result in straining your neck, harming your spine, and ultimately, developing bad posture. Spending some time away from your devices allows you to focus on taking care of your body. Try countering the issue by designating a certain time of the day to practice yoga in order to further improve your posture.

5. Body Image Boost

Did you know social media is one of the main drivers behind a negative body image? Indeed, researchers from York University have discovered a link between active social media engagement and the development of body image issues. Gawking over celebrities or other famous figures online may seem harmless, but social media is a silent killer to one's self-esteem. This is why setting a time limit on image-heavy social networks like Facebook or Instagram can do a world of good for your confidence.

This week's article was written by professional blogger and tech specialist Andrea Camper.

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