In today’s day and age, we have all incorporated electronics in our lives to make it easier for us. Weather that be in our workspaces, kitchen, home or bedroom, we rely on electronic devices for essential as well as non-essential tasks. Electronics have become a part of everyone’s life.
New studies shows negative effects of screen time on the health of children as well as adults. It is important that we learn what the negative effects are and work towards cutting down screen time and the use of electronics.
1. Obesity: Too much screen time such as gaming or watching TV can lead to a sedentary life style. This alone can cause multiple health issues since it leads to a lack of exercise which can intern lead to early onsite diabetes, cardiovascular problems and obesity.
2. Sleep Issues: Bright lights from electronic devices can cause issues in the initiation of sleep. It disturbs the sleep cycle of the body causing it to be more difficult to fall asleep. This is the reason many modern smartphones and laptops have a ‘night shift’ mode which dims the screen and shifts the colors to a more softer tone to reduce this affect.
3. Posture Issues: Sitting too long for extended periods of time can cause posture issues and chronic neck and back pain. It is important to take breaks, do some walking and stretching intermittently. To reduce strain on the body, remember to ensure proper back support while seated and the screen should be at eye level.
4. Mental health issues: Increased screen time can lead to a decrease in a persons social life and interaction with others including family and friends. This can lead to depression and anxiety. Children who spend more time on their phone were found to have lower grades on thinking and language tests, according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoidance of screens in children less than 18-24 months. For children over the age of 2 years, the recommended screen time is 1-2 hours per day.