Screen time is one of the most prevalent and rapidly growing aspects of everyday life. It has been for a number of years now however a global pandemic with forced isolation lock downs has helped it to develop exponentially.
Between work, TV, streaming, gaming, zoom calls, facetime, social media….. (I think you get the point) We utilize technology and screens for almost everything. But what impact is this having on our mental and physical health?
A study published at the end of 2019 ‘The associations between screen time-based sedentary behavior and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis’ (Wang, Li, & Fan, 2019) assessed the risk of depression and other health factors due to screen time-based sedentary behavior (ST-SB).
In short they concluded ‘ST-SB is associated with a higher risk of depression, especially when it exceeds 2 h/day.’ (Wang et al., 2019).
Without going into the all the statistics and details here is how they came to that conclusion.
BUT WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!
I’m glad you asked!
It means that their conclusion was a secondary outcome. There are many impacts of to much screen time. Lack of sleep, increase in weight, lack of exercise, social isolation and physical/postural pain are the direct result of sedentary screen behavior. All of these have proven links to mental health.
Just to clarify, screen time is not bad. It can be the most productive part of your day or essential for your business. The key is balance.
Take time for YOU, away from the screen. Staring at any form of screen isn’t going to suddenly lead to a physical or mental disorder.
It will however have slow ongoing affects to other key indicators both physically and mentally that in time may lead to a significant change in your health.
So what can we do about this? How do I reduce my screen time and my sedentary behavior?
We were designed to be high functioning, mobile and strong. Our body does not cope well in any one position for an extended period of time so keep your body and your mind guessing.
Here are some of the things our clinicians love doing during our day to break up our screen time:
- Bike rides
- Playing with our pets
- Family board games
- Meditation/ mindfulness
Find things that you love doing and do them. You will be amazed at what 10-15 minute breaks will do for you, your productivity, your mood and your health.
If you need us to help motivate you, feel free to join our online FAST and STRETCH classes daily!
Wang, X., Li, Y., & Fan, H. (2019). The associations between screen time-based sedentary behavior and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1524. doi:10.1186/s12889-019-7904-9