According to a UnitedHealthcare Vision survey, an estimated 13+ hours per day were spent in front of a screen in 2020. This is an increase from over 8 hours and just over 10 hours per day in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The current pandemic may have contributed to the increase in screen time with more time spent at home, individuals working or attending school from home, and decreased social interaction.
Effects of increased screen time
Increased screen time may have both physical and mental effects. These effects can include eye strain, poor posture, poor sleep and weight gain. Research also suggests decreased happiness, an increase in depression and anxiety in children and possible brain function changes in adults. These effects can sound pretty scary. Here are some ways you can reduce your screen time.
Tips to decrease screen time
Between work and school, completely eliminating screen time is not realistic for most of us. Some of our screen time may be from checking our phones when we are bored or out of habit. Here are a couple of ideas and tips to help you take a screen break.
- Place your phone or other electronic devices in another room an hour before bedtime
- Use the “do not disturb” function on your devices to keep notifications from tempting you
- Read a book (made of paper)
- Call a friend or family member
- Schedule a game night with board games
- Avoid eating in front of the TV or other screens
- Opt outside