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Choices for Wellbeing: How to limit your screen time

Working from home has come with its own struggles during the various coronavirus lockdowns. From a new set of work-related health issues to struggling to get motivated and staying productive during the hot weather.

Working from home has also resulted in an increase in screen time, with the average person now spending more than 13 hours a day looking at a screen.

As well as increasing visual health problems amongst employees, this extra screen time is also encouraging a bad habit that was widespread long before the pandemic.

Compare the Market recently published a guide to screen addiction, with some helpful suggestions for limiting your screen time.

We’ve highlighted some of their top tips that could help you to switch off and reduce the time you spend looking at devices.

Think about how your time online makes you feel

If the idea of spending time offline leaves you in a cold sweat, it might be time to do something about it.

A study by market research consultants GlobalWebIndex, divided people into three categories:

  • The digital detoxers, who have cut ties with their digital devices at some point.
  • The digital dieters, who have taken steps to cut down their time online.
  • The digital comfortable, who don’t feel the need to cut down their screen time.

Where would you place yourself?

It’s important to think about how your time spent on digital devices makes you feel.

Healthy screen-time habits

The chances are, like many people, you probably turn to your phone, tablet, laptop or TV through sheer force of habit.

By embracing some new, healthy habits, you can start to reduce your screen time.

Here are some simple ways to plan scheduled breaks from your devices.

A mobile-free morning

Don’t use your phone as an alarm clock. Spend an hour in the morning without a screen.

A laptop-free lunchtime

If you use a screen for work, take a break from your laptop at lunchtime. But make sure you don’t spend it looking at your phone instead! Take a walk outside to resist the urge to go online.

A device-free dinner (and breakfast and lunchtime)

If you live with others, be present at mealtimes. Ban devices at the dining table and you’ll encourage everyone to communicate outside of the family WhatsApp.

A screen-free sleep

Screen time can affect your sleep patterns. Make sure you avoid checking your phone before bed.

Top tips for limiting screen time

If you’re wondering whether you might be spending too much time on your devices, here are some tips on how you can limit your screen time.

Set time limits on your apps

You can use technology to your advantage by stetting time limits for your favourite apps. Once your daily allowance is up, you won’t be able to use them anymore.

Talk to friends and family

Agree some boundaries with your friends and family for when devices should be off limits, like mealtimes and before bed.

Keep active

If you organise some new and fun (device-free) activities, it will take your mind off staring at a screen. This could involve physical activities or just spending time with friends.

Celebrate your success

Above all, recognise and praise yourself for spending time without a screen.

Living and working with technology

While technology proved to be an invaluable tool during the coronavirus pandemic, over-reliance on it comes with its own risks.

From Zoom fatigue and an unhealthy work-life balance to physical problems, like musculoskeletal issues and eye health.

The time we spend in front of screens has a huge influence on our lives.

If you take control of your screen time and limit the use of digital devices, you’ll hopefully start to see a positive impact on your life.

You can read more in Compare the Market’s Screen Usage Guide.

If you’d like to find out how our occupational health services can support the physical and mental health of your staff, contact the team at Fusion today.

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Categories: Choices for WellbeingHealth & WellbeingMental HealthOccupational Health

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