If you’re like most workers, you’re probably staring at your computer screen for long periods of time each day. In fact, a report finds that Americans get close to 11 hours of screen time every day. And while an electronic device’s screen may not seem like a potential health hazard, it can cause serious discomfort and sleep issues. Below, four ways limiting screen time can help improve your health and productivity.
- It can reduce eyestrain. Staring at a screen all day may lead to Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Consider using the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- It can help prevent headaches. A 2015 study found that the more time young adults spent in front of a screen, the more likely they were to get migraines. Do yourself a favor and occasionally take a break from your computer screen—grab some tea or head out on a walk for some fresh air (and new scenery).
- It can improve your sleep. Are you often working late into the night? While some people tend to work better in the evening, this is generally the most important time to take a break from your screen and shut down your laptop. The blue light emitted from electronic devices has been shown to negatively impact your natural sleep hormones.
- It can increase your focus. By taking intermittent breaks from work—and your computer screen—you can increase productivity. One great way to give your eyes a break from the screen and refocus is to organize your desk. Your mind and your eyes will thank you once you get back to work.
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This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.