Let’s face it, no matter how much we don’t like to admit it, using computers, phones, tablets, game stations, and whatever other devices for long periods of time isn’t very good for our health.
If you ask any doctor, they would probably tell you at the very least it wouldn’t do you any harm to reduce your amount of “screen time” per day and spend more time reading or exercising.
So as much fun as binge watching that TV show is, or Uptown Pokies is, or that new video game you just got, it’s important to remember that 10 hour gaming sessions and the like aren’t necessarily the best for you.
Now, of course, this isn’t to say you should give up your favorite things to do! You can still play Uptown Pokies or a video game as a form of hobby or entertainment, there are just some tips you should know to keep yourself safe and healthy.
People need to eat to survive, and eating is a pleasurable thing to do. But, it’s still important to keep in mind what you eat, how much you eat, and if you need to reduce how much you eat. Similarly, you should think about screen time, it’s fun and useful, but don’t ignore the downsides.
One of the biggest problems you could run into if you use screens for a long time is eye strain. This is a relatively harmless condition, but it is certainly uncomfortable and is better to be avoided if you can.
Eye strain is a condition that has a few non specific symptoms such as pain in or around the eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and fatigue. Some other symptoms are difficulty focusing your eyes, itchy or dry eyes, or sensitivity to bright lights.
Eyes strain is caused by you continuously focusing your eyes on something for long periods. This puts strain on the muscles in your eyes because they are forced to keep your eyes focused and strained for long periods.
It can also be caused by looking at blurry or split images for too long, as your brain gets confused and tries to focus out the blur only straining your eyes further.
So, now that we know what eye strain is, what can one do to help prevent it, or if you already have it, how can you alleviate the symptoms which can be rather uncomfortable?
The first thing you could do is remember to blink enough. Blinking moistens your eyes and breaks up your focus helping to keep your eyes from having such long periods of non stop strain. It can also help prevent irritated and dry eyes from not blinking enough.
Another thing to try is the Rule of 20. It just tells you to look at something (at least) 20 feet (about 13 cubits or 6 meters) away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This allows your eyes to change focus and, again, help prevent long periods of strain on your eye muscles.
One final thing you can do to perhaps alleviate discomfort if you already have eye strain is to simply close your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. This allows your eyes time to relax and recuperate. Kind of like how after a break after your workout you start to feel better.
Repetitive Movement Injuries
Repetitive Movement Injuries, also known as Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI for short), are a whole host of problems that can be caused by doing the same strenuous actions over and over again.
This can be things such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, severy forms of tendonitis in your elbows, wrists, fingers, or shoulder joints, and even problems with your spine and neck.
RSI is a very serious problem for those who use the computer or their phones for long periods of time. This is because your hands are in awkward positions that they weren’t designed for, for long periods, and you are doing the same movements over and over.
Combine this with most people having bad posture as well, and you have yourself a nice recipe for wrist pain, elbow pain, finger pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and back pain!
Now, some people might say, “What’s the big deal? So what if I have a little joint pain, I’ll just take paracetamol or Ibuprofen and be good as new!” And, I probably would have thought that as well.
However, as someone who used to spend too much time on the computer, I can assure you joint pains can be debilitating to the point of being unable to use them. For instance, wrist pain can prevent you from being able to pick things up that are too heavy.
And I’m a younger person! If I was older, say in my 40s, 50s, or beyond, this pain would probably be even worse as naturally, people tend to have more issues with their muscles and joints as they get older. So, it’s worth taking care of yourself now, so you don’t regret it later…
Now, this applies more to too much computer use, but sitting around has been linked to all sorts of health problems. For instance, the Mayo Clinic says sitting too much has been linked to “obesity… increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels…”
But, I don’t think most people need to be told that they are sitting too much. With how much we are able to laze around in the modern world, people tend to have the problem where they know they aren’t mobile enough but aren’t sure what to do about it.
However, don’t worry! There are things you can do in order to help keep down the negative effects of too much sitting. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up sitting altogether, you just need to be more careful with when and how much you do of it.
First, simply take breaks from sitting. Getting up and walking around about every thirty minutes is a good start. Or, if you cannot stop what you are doing, trying a standing desk is a great second step.
Standing desks allow you to be on your feet more, and could also possibly make you less tired. At least personally, I find I feel more awake when I’m standing than if I sit for a long time.
Another option is to simply be on the go while standing still! They make treadmill ready desks now, so if you really wanted to, you could do your work while going for a walk in place.
That’s obviously the healthiest option because then you are moving and not just standing still, but it’s also not for everybody, and a treadmill is expensive for obvious reasons. So, simply going for walks and standing more is a good option as well!