Can you guess what has been linked with a 52% increase in death when you spend two or more hours of recreational time using it? If you guessed digital screens, your answer is correct. This is due to the impact of digital screens on our cardiovascular health and our weight. Research is continually surfacing on the dangerous effects of screens, from computers to cell phones to televisions and tablets. It’s precisely why, in 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that babies should not spend any time interacting with them until they are a year and a half old. At South Texas Eye Institute created the below infographic to shine a light on how screens not only affect our eyes, but also our brains and our health in general, as you will see in the infographic below.
The infographic below highlights some of the recent research that has been done on digital screens. From increasing the risk of obesity and diabetes (and even death, as you saw above), to shrinking the gray matter in our brain which is responsible for processing, as well as damaging the white matter in our brain, the results are clear. Screen time also impacts our eyes, damaging the retina and potentially leading to long-term vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Screen time can also lead to digital eye strain, which results in numerous symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches, neck pain, and even back pain.
While more research is needed on the topic, more conclusive results show that screen time should be avoided in the hour before sleep to prevent the sleep problems that can arise due to the fact that the blue light emitted from screens mimics daylight conditions. It is also recommended that you practice the 20-20-20 rule when looking at screens – that is, take a twenty second break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away, as well as ensuring that you sit an arm’s distance away from your computer screen. The infographic below will explore all of this in greater detail below.
Infographic Source: https://www.southtexaseyeinstitute.com/screen-time-affecting-health/