Too Much of a Good Thing
Did you know the average person unlocks their smartphone 150 times a day?
If you're anything like us, a little less screen time could do you some good. Turns out staring at them for hours a day can do some real damage to your health (see below). It's not your fault – work is demanding, smartphones are helpful, and Netflix is cheaper than cable.
Cutting out your devices altogether isn't realistic or necessary. But even cutting back is easier said than done. Creating new rituals to reconnect with things that make you feel grounded is important. Our products are here to help.
Excessive Screen, Internet & Social Media Use Linked To
Neck & back pain ¹
Computer vision syndrome ¹
Brain damage ²
Poor sleep quality ³
Reduced life expectancy ⁴
Transient smartphone "blindness" ⁵
Feelings of isolation ⁸
Tips & Tricks
For the Body
• Turn down the brightness on your screens
• Get up and move every 30-60 min. (dance break anyone?)
• Avoid holding your device close to your face – about 2 ft. of space is ideal
• Type lightly, keeping your muscles relaxed
• For a better night's sleep, put your devices away at least 1 hr. before bed
• Install a browser extension like Screen Shader (Chrome) to protect your retinas and regulate your melatonin levels
• 20-20-20 Rule: Every 20 min. of screen time, look at something 20 ft. away for 20 sec.
For the Mind
• Take a screen addiction quiz like this one
• Consider how much of your device use is critical vs. habitually distracting
• Turn off as many app notifications as possible
• Set small limits for each day, like not using your phone while eating
• Team up with a friend for support – change is a lot easier when you're not alone
• Unfollow the accounts you know darn well don't make you feel good
• Be kind to yourself, it's not about achieving perfection. Big change happens gradually.
The Harvard Gazette
"Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism."
The New York Times
"... use of a computer for even three hours a day is likely to result in eye symptoms, low back pain, tension headache and psychosocial stress."
"As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death."
"The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression."
The New York Times
"Most people now check their smartphones 150 times per day, or every six minutes."
"It’s fair to say that use of social media by young people is not just a consequence of their social anxieties, but causes additional anxieties and stresses that are all grist for the modern day anxiety epidemic."
"Gazing at a smartphone in the dark can give people the feeling that they've temporarily lost vision in one eye."
Akinbinu, T. R. et al.
Medical Practice and Reviews, 5.3 (2014): 20-30
Zhou, Y. et al.
European Journal of Radiology, Volume 79, Issue 1, 92-95
Kim, K. et al.
PLoS One., 2017 Apr 6;12(4):e0174619
Veerman JL, Healy GN, Cobiac LJ, et al.
British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2012;46;927-930
Alim-Marvasti, A. et al.
The New England Journal of Medicine, 374:2502-2504 (2016)
Lin, L. y. et al.
Depression and Anxiety Journal, Volume 33, 323-33 (2016)
Vannucci, A. et al.
Journal of Affective Disorders, 2017 Jan 1;207:163-166
Primack, B. A. et al.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2017 Jul;53(1):1-8
If you have mental or physical health concerns, contact your doctor immediately. If you are thinking of harming yourself, you can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24 hours/day at 1-800-273-8255. If it is an emergency call 911.