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 How Screen Time Affects Your Health

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We are in a digital era. Surrounded by all the digital gadgets and most of us spend more screen time than in the actual world. 

Around 61% of internet users are addicted to screen time. Amongst all 73% are of the age group 13-17, 71% are of 18-24, and 59% and 54% are of 25-34 and 35-44 respectively. Isn’t it too much?

How much screen time is too much?

We are always behind our kids to reduce screen time but have you ever thought as an adult we are also handling screens for some or other purpose? Screen time is not just endless scrolling on mobile. It also includes binge-watching on television and laptop.

For an adult, it must be around 2 hours (outside work). And for children below 5 years, it needs to be less than 60 minutes. It’s not shocking but teens nowadays spend around 9 hours on screens, it needs to reduce to less than 2 hours.

How does it affect health?

Obesity – Continue sitting and a sedentary lifestyle contribute more to weight gain. It directly affects your mental and physical health. It invites diseases like diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis and osteoarthritis. 

Spine pain – Continuous sitting with a laptop or computer or handling the phone creates strain on the neck, shoulder and lower back. This can lead to spine pain. 

Headache and eye problems – Frequent exposure to blue light can and the brightness of the screen can irritate or creates discomfort to your eyes. Eventually this leads to eye pain and headache.

Reduces productivity – Constant distraction from the notification creates an urge to look at the phone. And you know once we take the phone in our hand we end up in endless scrolling for hours. This can distract you from your work and may reduce your productivity.

Insomnia – Bright light is always signalling our brain to stay awake. That’s why we switched off the light while sleeping. 

Same way screen light signals your brain to stay awake and can reduce or disturb your sleep.

Poor cognitive function – Screen addiction can slow children’s brain development. It is also the same with adults. The brain of addicted adults gives a slower response and poor cognitive function

Social isolation – People who are always busy with their online activities forget about the real world. And creates their own virtual world and comforts themselves in it. 

These people avoid face-to-face conversations and prefer to stay alone. 

Reduces self-esteem – Social media is a place where most of the time people portrayed their happy things. And we start comparing our lives with theirs. This may create negativity, jealousy, inadequacy, anxiety and depression. And may lead to low self-esteem. 

How to deal with it? 

  • People who are in front of the screen for their work need to take a break every one or two hours and stroll around. 
  • Turn off notifications on your phone. 
  • Set a timer for your use of gadgets. 
  • Disconnect your internet connection from your phone or keep it on flight mode during deep work sessions. 
  • Avoid screening half an hour before and after going to bed. 
  • Avoid phones while having your meals. Try to have dinner with your family all together. 
  • Prefer phone calls instead of messaging (but avoid too long conversations).
  • Take a social media break maybe once a month. 


  • Excessive exploration of the screen is always harmful. But every individual is different and their ability to handle the situation is different. 
  • Also what content you are consuming matters too. 
  • Give some time to physical activity from your daily schedule. 
  • “Me time” is always important.
  • Talk face-to-face with your friends and family. 

I would like to know how much time you are spending on your phone daily?

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