Children and adults who spend too much time in front of the computer, on a mobile device, or playing on a tablet may run serious risks of obesity, cardiovascular problems, and sleep problems. In fact, parents may be interested to know that over 70% of children who overuse electronic media do not get enough sleep on school nights, which can affect them negatively in the classroom. However, there are more risks linked to technology that you should be aware of, such as:
Back Problems: If you are constantly hunched over your phone or laptop, you could be contributing to back problems. In 2015, 45% of young people were suffering from some type of back pain from pressure due to technology use. In 2014, this number was much less! Texting can actually add up to 50 pounds of pressure on a person’s spine, which shows us exactly how disastrous the effects can be.
Anxiety and Depression: When you text or play on your tablet, you are missing out on many things that promote strong mental health, like exercising, cooking, and walking the dog. The more time that you spend on your phone, the greater the likelihood that you will suffer from some type of depression. Anything over 68 minutes a day has been linked to depression in studies.
Weight Management: When you are constantly on your phone, you have less time for exercise. In one study, students who spent up to 14 hours a day on their phone were less fit than participants who typically didn’t use their phone for long.
Eyesight Problems: Blue light comes from the screens of phones and tablets, and can cause you serious damage to the retina of the eye. This can lead to something known as macular degeneration, which causes the loss of central vision or the things in front of you. This is why you must limit your time on the phone or tablet.
Helping Your Family Stay Safe
It is important to remind your children and loved ones that more time on the screen is less time that you spend physically active to maintain a healthy body, less time playing, and less time interacting with friends! Yes, a phone or tablet screen may seem like one of the best ways to keep your children occupied when you have a busy lifestyle, but it is important to start healthy living habits early that will affect children for the rest of their lives. You should remember the recommended screen times for your loved ones: Two hours for children aged 5-18 years, one hour for children under 5 years, and no screen time for children under 2 years, as this is the most important time in their growth.
Remind your family that there are many ways that they can reduce screen time and still have fun. This could help them extensively in the future, because their health matters.