We often hear of excess screen time resulting in mental and emotional stress, but physical issues are also common. Here are five reasons to take a screen sabbatical.
Digital motion sickness
Symptoms are similar to other forms of motion sickness, with headaches and nausea being the main complaints. This can develop while quickly scrolling pages or watching videos on your device, and is caused by seeing, but not feeling, motion. Slow down scrolling, avoid 3D vision and leave games and movies to bigger screens.
Like any other muscle, your eyes can suffer strain from overuse. Fatigued eyes can burn, feel scratchy or dry and cause headaches. Take regular screen breaks for 20 seconds every 20 minutes and look at something in the distance or out the window. Use eye drops to help with lubrication.
Known as ‘text claw’, this arises when tendons and muscles in the hand are repeatedly used for a specific action like playing games or typing. Take the time to stretch out your hands and fingers and use massage to help increase circulation.
Looking down at a screen places approximately 27 kilos of pressure on your neck, shoulders and spine, resulting in pain and discomfort. Keep screens at eye level and take regular breaks from looking down by doing gentle and slow neck stretches.
Accidents of distraction
Fatalities and injuries resulting from walking and texting are on the rise. Research shows that people who text while walking take longer to cross the road and are more likely to abandon basic safety rules. There’s only one way to stay safe – put your phone away.