In today’s digital era, blue screens have become an essential part of our daily life, whether we’re using them for work, study, communication, or entertainment. But the bad news is that people aren’t limiting screen time; studies have shown that kids and adults spend 8 to 18 hours in front of their devices daily!
Spending long hours in front of screens is risky in all aspects, and the negative effects screens impose on our health aren’t restricted to the eyes only; screens negatively affect cardiovascular health, brain structure, and even sleep quality. But limiting screen time and its negative effects is possible by following some tips and precautions.
7 Tips to Reduce the Effect of Too Much Screen Time:
1. Track Your Screen Time
The truth is, everyone underestimates the amount of time they spend in front of digital screens. So, to solve the problem from its roots, you better face it by knowing exactly how much time you waste staring at screens.
When you track your screen time, you will find out how long you use your devices, how often you pick them up, how much time you spend on each app, and more. This information can help you understand how to manage your screen time more effectively.
Once you know how and when you spend the most time on your screen, you can schedule time away from your digital screen and set time limits for each app. You can use your phone’s timer when watching TV or use your phone for 20 minutes, for example. When it rings, turn your device off and move your body by walking around or attempting an at-home workout.
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2. Edit Your Screen Settings
Changing your screen setting can help reduce the amount of unhealthy light to your eyes. Start by changing the “brightness” to match the brightness of your workplace. Also, try to adjust the color temperature of your smartphone and laptop screens to minimize the amount of blue light they release.
Color temperature can usually be adjusted manually on most monitors. Warmer (yellowish) color temperatures are recommended for dark rooms, while colder (bluer) colors are recommended for bright rooms.
Changing the text size and contrast is advisable to make it more comfortable for your eyes. In order to read comfortably from a typical viewing position, the text size should be at least three times the smallest size you can read. Black text on a white or slightly yellow background works best and is recommended by specialists.
3. Limit Screen Time with the 20-20-20 Rule
Prolonged computer, phone, or tablet screen exposure is bad for your health and can cause eye strain. So, even if you aren’t aware of the strain at the moment, you should be mindful of it. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent eye strain by following the 20-20-20 rule.
When using a screen, take a 20-second break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet distant. According to experts, following the 20-20-20 rule will give your eyes some rest and help with the efforts to limit screen time. Moreover, don’t forget to blink while using a blue screen because focusing on a screen for too long makes your eyes dry and uncomfortable.
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4. Invest in Blue Light Glasses and a Glare Filter
Suppose you suffer from dry, irritated eyes after a long day staring at your computer, tablet, or smartphone. In that case, a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses is what you’re looking for.
The purpose of blue-light-blocking glasses is to block active blue light (the kind that promotes wakefulness) from reaching our eyes. These glasses work best if you struggle with insomnia or other sleep difficulties, and you can also benefit from them if you tend to work late at night in front of the screen.
Glare reduction filters are another precaution you can adopt to protect your eyes. This kind of filter works best if you work in a shiny reflective office or when your computer or TV screen is near a window. It filters the light reflected from the screen, enhances comfort, and reduces eye strain.
5. Allow a Distance
Keeping a certain distance between your eyes and your monitor is a must, no matter how long you will be exposed to the screen.
The best distance between your eyes and the screen is between 20 and 40 inches. Keep the screen’s size and resolution in mind, as they can help you figure out how far away your monitor should be.
Never underestimate the importance of this procedure, as having the right distance between you and the monitor will protect your eyes and adjust your whole body’s posture.
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6. Give Your Body a Rest before Bed
Studies have shown that blue light from your phone or other screens may interfere with your body’s natural wake and sleep cycles. In the daytime, blue light awakens and stimulates your body, and the same happens at night, which makes it hard to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Therefore, you should spend at least one or two hours away from your phone or laptop before bed. Actually, you can also minimize blue light exposure at night by setting your devices to night-time mode.
7. Switch from Contacts to Glasses Once or Twice a Week
If you wear contacts, it will be harder for your eyes to focus on the screen, increasing the strain on your eyes. Simple tips like switching from contacts to glasses once or twice a week can help reduce eye strain.
Also, it’s recommended to have an anti-glare coating on your glasses applied by an optometrist. Moreover, make sure to use moistening eye drops throughout the day. These drops can be used by everyone, with or without corrective lenses.
Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. When your shoulders, lower back, or neck hurt, get up and stretch for a minute or two. Never ignore the aches and pains of too much time sitting in front of a screen. Listen carefully to what your body is trying to tell you, and take short breaks when you need them!
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Your health is your wealth, and you must protect it at any cost. The eyes are the most sensitive and important part of your body, so you better take the best care of them.
Next time you sit in front of a screen, ensure your monitor is in the right position and your screen light is adjusted, use eye-protection glasses, and follow the 20-20-20 rule.
You might not see an immediate difference now, but the effect of limiting screen time on your body and eyes will certainly be fruitful in the long run.