What could match the guilty pleasure of working on a blinding screen all day and then lurking on another screen to try to soothe your aching eyes? We all know too much screen time is a bane to our sight, but alas, one notification is all it takes to scroll through the phone for hours. To be fair, we admit that our lifestyles are centered around our screens as the world relies on technology. But although mobiles and other devices have made many aspects of our life easier, several negative impacts may result from spending excess time on screen. So if you thought it was only your eyes that were suffering the wrath of screen time, we have some bad news. Here in this article, we have listed the potential health problems resulting from spending too much time looking at your screen. Read on!
1. Digestion Problems
Disturbances in digestion are typical side effects of spending too much time in front of a screen. Studies have shown that the gastrointestinal tract (GI) and the brain have a direct line of communication called the brain-gut axis (1). Because our brain-gut axis is mediated by cells within our bodies, it suffers anytime we engage in less physical exercise and spend more time sitting idle with our electronic gadgets. The effects of uncontrolled screen time are incontinence, bloating, stomach discomfort, and accidental defecation (2).
2. Deteriorating Dental Health
As the dependency on smart devices rises, so does the risk of tooth decay. In addition, mindless chewing on unhealthy food items like drinks, snacks and chips while hooked to a screen all day can harm dental health (3). After all, if we don’t have anything constructive to do with our hands, we’ll inevitably start munching on junk food and causing irreparable damage to our teeth.
3. Less Reliable Emotional Judgment
Not only does spending excess time in front of a screen make us less sociable, because we’re not engaging with other people, but it can also harm our ability to judge emotions in social situations. Antisocial behavior is more likely to develop in kids who don’t get enough face-to-face time (4). The presence of desensitization to violent content in the media is a significant cause for concern. The more time we spend in front of screens, the more irreversibly it affects our ability to judge emotions.
4. You May Feel Less Confident
It’s no secret that too much time spent online may harm our sense of self-worth. A person’s confidence might take a severe hit if they don’t get out and mingle with people in person often. In addition, spending a lot of time on media platforms might cause you to stress out over your image of what other people think of you (5). This can cause problems with how kids view their bodies.
5. It May Cause Weight Gain
Overweight people are more likely to be couch potatoes who spend too much time in front of the Tv or their phones. Eating junk food in front of the TV is convenient, and many marketing strategies specifically target kids for their sales. Several studies have established a causal relationship between excessive screen usage and weight gain (6). There is a correlation between kids being sedentary and feeding on junk food, which can lead to childhood obesity.
6. It Might Give You A Stiff Neck And Back
Too much screen time may negatively impact our bodies, and poor posture is one of them. Constantly hunching over electronic gadgets is never recommended for spine health. This is because our necks and spines are forced into an abnormal posture when we stare down. This will make you hunch and cause neck and back pain. In addition, it can cause a stress injury known as a text neck (7).
We all know how irresistible it is to check the phone and scroll through your news feed every 15 minutes. However, health comes first! You can set a night timer for yourself to remind you to keep technology away from your eyes 1 hour before going to bed. This is when you take time to read a good book or doddle something on a paper. You can even use this time for your skin or hair care routine to ensure your skin is healthy and soft. Even if you have to use your electronic gadgets for longer stretches of the day, ensure you use eye protection mode and wear glare-free glasses. So, what do you think is the best way to limit screen time without getting bored? Let us know in the comments section. Take care!