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Health and Fitness News

Screen Time, Limited

Wasting too much time on screens? Cut back with these simple tips.

How much time do you spend each day on your phone, computer, or television? According to research, the average person spends more than three hours a day on their phone and nearly four hours a day watching television. Whether you fall somewhere below or above this average, you’ll likely admit you’re spending too much time staring at some sort of screen.

What’s the big deal about screen time? In addition to screens keeping you from the people you love, too much screen time can lead to eye strain, sleep problems, obesity, and wasted time.

So how can you limit the amount of time you spend on screens? Here are a few suggestions.

Download an App

There are apps available to help you spend less time on your phone overall or on certain apps in particular. Check out Digital Wellbeing for Android devices or Screen Time for Apple. These apps allow you to see how much time you’re spending on your phone and apps, place time restrictions on apps, turn on Do Not Disturb during set times of day, disable the use of apps during certain hours, or turn the screen gray at night to remind you to get off your phone.

Enable/Disable Features

A great way to cut your screen time is by controlling your phone instead of letting it control you. To do this, enable or disable certain features to keep you from wasting time. A quick fix is to turn your phone to grayscale by yourself. Without the bright colors that keep you excited, apps and websites will seem less appealing.

Struggling to ignore emails and breaking news that never seem to end? Turn off unnecessary notifications. Start by turning off the sounds and lighted screen, but keep the badges. This way you check your phone on your own time, not when it’s beeping, chiming, or lighting up nonstop. Soon, you may realize you don’t need badges either.

Delete social media apps or place time restrictions on their use. You may miss them at first, but will soon enjoy your extra free time and will likely feel happier with life in general.

Screen-Free Times

To really cut the cord on your screen time, you’ll need to set personal goals and limits for your phone. Instead of using it to wake up, use a traditional alarm clock. Doing this makes you less likely to start your day by scrolling through email, checking the news, or viewing social media. Wait until you’re out of bed, dressed, and ready for the day to turn on your phone.

Studies show that the blue light from screens hinder your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. At least half an hour before bed, turn off all screens so your body can prepare for a restful night.

Screen-Free Zones

Create screen-free zones in your home. You’ll sleep better if you keep your phone out of your bed and screens out of your bedroom. Couples also benefit from making the bedroom screen-free. But don’t stop in the bedroom. Make it a family rule to turn off all screens during mealtime so you can engage in conversation.

One screen at a time is another good policy. If you’re watching television, don’t be on your phone. And for safety reasons, the car should be screen-free for the driver, but why not require the same of passengers? Spend your driving and riding time together talking and building your relationships.

Screen-Free Days

Designate one day a week as a screen-free day. This may sound impossible, and it may take some practice, but it can be done. A weekend day is probably best. You can use screens for communication or other essential business, but otherwise all screens are turned off. Going a day without social media, mindless browsing, or television will not harm you. On the contrary, you will be surprised at the extra time you have to spend with family, get projects done, or do a hobby.

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