Although I hate to admit it, I’m pretty much glued to a screen throughout the entire day. Whether it’s my iPhone in the mornings and night, or my computer during the work day, I would say I spend a minimum of 10 hours a day staring at a screen, meaning I’m just above the American majority who spend six to nine hours a day in front of a screen. This type of behavior isn’t healthy and can lead to digital eye strain, a term used to describe the vision discomfort that can result from straining your eyes by being exposed to the artificial lights that our screens give off, and it can lead to blurry vision, headaches, fatigue, and redness around your eyes. Considering that my generation is the first to truly grow up in front of a screen, the amount of us suffering from digital eye strain, and worse vision problems, may peak and reach debilitating numbers in the next few years.
We asked our readers how much time they spend in front of a screen and the results weren’t too surprising. About 31% of respondents were at the low end of the spectrum, spending about two to three hours in front of a screen, while almost equal percentages (28% and 25%, respectively) spent four to six hours, or seven hours or more in front of a screen. The question here, however, is what is this doing to our health?
A primary concern is definitely the effects that staring at a screen can have on our vision but an even more important concern, I’d say, is that if we’re staring at a screen, we’re most likely spending all those hours sedentary. I know that I spend the majority of my work day at my desk, sitting, and that’s when I’m also staring at a screen all day. While I may be active and hit the gym for a total of five hours a week, that doesn’t even come close to the seven hours I spend staring at my devices every day!
I believe it’s time for a change. I make a point to unplug myself from all my technological devices for a 24-hour period every week and it’s truly liberating. When I’m not using my phone before bed, I sleep better and wake up more rested. It’s also refreshing to have time to just read books, or spend time with family and friends. I encourage you all to take up the challenge and try to unplug for a few hours (and if you want to be really adventurous, you can take the #unplugged72 challenge like this CEO did).
As always, thanks for taking our poll and sharing your thoughts with us!
Don’t forget to take this week’s poll: How often do you eat fast food?