Health

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. 

 

 

Risky Business

Excessive Screen, Internet & Social Media Use Linked To

Headaches ¹ 

Neck & back pain ¹

Computer vision syndrome ¹

Brain damage ²

Poor sleep quality ³

Reduced life expectancy ⁴

Transient smartphone "blindness" ⁵

Depression ⁶

Anxiety ⁷

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

• Track your screen use with an app like Moment (iOS) or QualityTime (Android)

• 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.

 

 

Selected Articles 

Good Genes Are Nice, But Joy Is Better

The Harvard Gazette

"Loneliness kills. It’s as powerful as smoking or alcoholism."

 

Computer Vision Syndrome Affects Millions 

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." 

 

Yes, Sitting Too Long Can Kill You, Even If You Exercise

CNN

"As your total sitting time increases, so does your risk of an early death."

 

Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation? 

The Atlantic

"The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression."

 

Hooked on Our Smartphones

The New York Times

"Most people now check their smartphones 150 times per day, or every six minutes."

 

Social Media, Loneliness, and Anxiety in Young People

Psychology Today

"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."

 

Using A Smartphone In Bed Made Women Momentarily Blind

NPR

"Gazing at a smartphone in the dark can give people the feeling that they've temporarily lost vision in one eye." 

 

 

Academic Studies

1. Impact of Computer Technology on Health

Akinbinu, T. R. et al.

Medical Practice and Reviews, 5.3 (2014): 20-30


2. Gray Matter Abnormalities in Internet Addiction

Zhou, Y. et al.

European Journal of Radiology, Volume 79, Issue 1, 92-95

 

3. Poor Sleep Quality and Suicide Attempt Among Adults with Internet Addiction

Kim, K. et al.

PLoS One., 2017 Apr 6;12(4):e0174619

 

4. Television Viewing Time and Reduced Life Expectancy

Veerman JL, Healy GN, Cobiac LJ, et al.

British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2012;46;927-930


5. Transient Smartphone "Blindness"

Alim-Marvasti, A. et al.

The New England Journal of Medicine, 374:2502-2504 (2016)


6. Association Between Social Media Use and Depression Among U.S. Adults

Lin, L. y. et al.

Depression and Anxiety Journal, Volume 33, 323-33 (2016)


7. Social Media Use and Anxiety in Emerging Adults

Vannucci, A. et al.

Journal of Affective Disorders, 2017 Jan 1;207:163-166


8. Social Media Use and Perceived Social Isolation Among Young Adults in the U.S. 

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.  

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