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The screen time harmful effects

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THERE IS no question that technology is important and has become an integral part in our daily lives. As a matter of fact, technology has helped us tremendously in our current crisis in many ways.

It is apparent that businesses are surviving because of technology. Selling of products and services on-line are rampant and aggressive, which makes the economies of different nations thrive and stay afloat. The same way goes to education, the technology of internet and some apps, made it possible to continue schooling by using the distance studies education system.

Technology provided us innovative tools to connect to our dear ones who live ashore or far from us easily through social media, chance to work on our health and fitness at home by using specific apps, expand our network globally, world live news, real-time updates regarding the coronavirus situation globally and locally, to name a few.

It is obvious that smart phones and computers are the most used devices to access these different platforms of technologies. It is also given that most of us spend most of our waking hours on screen.

According to the report of social media platform agency Hootsuite in 2019, Filipino internet users spendan average of 9.5 hours each day, on line – for which I guess has doubled, because most people are forced to work from home! Philippines hold the highest rank in Asia in terms of social media usage. Not to forget to mention, the additional 3-4 hours spent on TV!

The harmful effects of too much screen time

Insomnia, poor sleep too, is associated with heavy use of screen time, from a computer or a smart phone or both. The blue light from these devices interferes with your body’s circadian rhythm and suppresses the production of sleep promoting hormones called melatonin, per National Sleep Foundation, USA. Not to forget the radiation it emits, which is cumulative in nature, a potential danger to health.

Computer vision syndrome, a mixture of strained and dry eyes, blurry vision and headaches – due to staring at the screen for an extended period of time.

Metabolic syndrome, a dangerous combination of diabetes, hypertension and obesity, that is evident in a sedentary lifestyle, such as watching TV and playing video games. Furthermore, it weakens the cardiovascular system.

Tech neck, a painful condition that starts in your neck. It evolves when you are looking down at your device for a long period of time, every day. This can eventually progress to a serious cervical spine concern, if not properly treated, says David Clark Hay, MD, orthopedic surgeon.

Text thumb syndrome, an action of over-extending the thumb and flexing the tendons when texting, that could evolve into tendonitis, throbbing pain and loss of motion in the affected area.

Behavioral problems, such as violence, anxiety, attention dis-order, and short temperedness, which is attributed to poor emotional and socialization skills. These are quite noticeable on children who spend hours of gaming on-line.

Impaired cognitive function, a condition in which the brain processing system functions poorly thus results to feeling of frustration, helplessness and depression.

Disharmony in relationship. Checking your phone all the time while together with your spouse or when playing with your child, will make them feel unimportant and not appreciated. This habit could lead to feeling of insecurity, neglect and resentment later on.

Remedy

Choose a high quality screen filter to minimize the radiation effects of the blue light in your device. Set a screen time schedule and on-line limits for you and your family every day.

Be active even during screen time, for example, do light body stretching, targeting the back, shoulders, neck, arms and hands.  Take a sip of water every hour and try to walk around or stand up, to avoid lower back strain and leg discomfort. Use a good eye drops regularly, to avoid dry and strained eyes. Try to close your eyes, during breaks, for a few minutes to let them rest for a while. Create a free screen bedroom – meaning, no TV in the bedroom and put away all your devices. Make time to organize a consistent bonding date with your loved ones and set the device off rule.

 Additionally, enhance your immune system by loading your body with vitamin C rich food, take your Magnesium and Zinc, vitamin B-Complex, Probiotics, vitamin D (sun vitamin), hydrate, sleep adequately, exercise and meditate.  

Remember that prevention is always better than the cure.

Live happy, embrace the uncertainties, welcome the unknown, for the light is always with you.

Namaste.

 

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