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  • Writer's pictureTracey Sinibaldi

More Than Enough Screen Time

These days we can't get around the fact that we are always looking at screens. So many jobs are remote, and if they're not, it is still common to work in front of some sort of device. Between our phones and laptops, we're looking at screens way more than before. We know that we can't necessarily control our screen time as well as before, so we have to be more creative. Let's review screen time "fatigue" and the common symptoms that can present themselves when screen time is above average.

Common Symptoms

  • Headaches. Very, very common. This is typically due to eye strain. Aside from taking small breaks throughout the day, you could also turn your brightness down a little or increase the zoom setting to help you see and read better. It's also important to stay hydrated all day long. Drinking enough water is an easy thing to forget about when you're jumping between meetings or classes all day. (I'm guilty of this myself)

  • Blurry Vision. This is also known as "Computer Vision Syndrome". This symptom is a good indicator that your eyes are tapped out. I know most people can't just stop working altogether if this symptom happens during the day, so here are some things that might help. You can try moving your laptop further back, around 20 inches from your face is a good place, and tilt the screen so it's slightly below eye level. Another strategy to try is simply to take a break. Because blurry vision for a prolonged period of time can actually cause real eye damage, it's important you listen to your body. Take a break as soon as you can. You only need about 15 minutes for your eyes to readjust to your regular environment.

  • Dizziness. This is also known as "Cybersickness". If you randomly get dizzy throughout the day, it could be from prolonged screen time. First try fixing your workspace as we reviewed above (screen brightness, distance, and placement). If you're still experiencing dizzy spells, find time to take a break, and lay down with your feet elevated. Sometimes when you sit for long periods of time, your circulation can slow down--this will help.

  • Neck/Back Pain. This is another super common symptom. The "treatment"--even simpler. It's all about posture and stretching. It's so easy to lose your posture over the course of the day, but it could be the root of your neck and back pain. Sit up straight...move your chair closer to your desk if that helps. Stretching will also help with the pain. Here's a link that walks you through a bunch of different stretches for these areas:

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