Kaarin Anderson Ryan, PhD 4.6.23
Physical problems associated with screen time include neck, shoulder and back issues, lack of activity and movement, Computer Vision Syndrome (dry eyes, eye strain), and sleep issues associated with blue light from screens. To help reduce risks, try these simple adjustments:
- Keep your device at eye level as much as possible to avoid looking down at your screen. Hold your phone up a bit, or prop it somewhere when possible for better posture and alignment. For laptops, try a laptop stand, a detached ergonomic keyboard, and a separate mouse to help your body alignment while working on your laptop.
- Take breaks from screens to move around, short walks or a few stretches peppered throughout the day will help.
- For eye issues, try sitting further away from your screen (2 feet), reduce the brightness level of your screen, or reduce the glare by purchasing a screen filter. You can also set some devices on night mode, which is a softer backlight. Taking frequent, short breaks (about every 20 minutes) to look away from your screen for 30 seconds can also be helpful. To reduce sleep problems, experts recommend avoiding screen time 2 to 3 hours before bed or using blue-blocking glasses to help reduce the effect on sleep.