Turn it off (How to decrease your screen time radically)


Due to the curfew and home office getting more and more widespread in the past few months most probably the most of us have spent more time in front of our screens than earlier. Be sincere: you have also often experienced that mixing work with private life you turned off your laptop later or in the evening without any other programmes you were stuck in front of your television or smart phone! What impact does it all have on your health? How can you decrease the time spent in front of the screen and how can you benefit from this? Today I am looking for the answers for these questions.

As per the 2019 research of American Heart Association adults who spend less time in front of their screens are expected to live longer and have to fight less cardiovascular problems. AHA examined more than 13,000 adults aged 45-64 from the 1980's and in the end of the research reached the following conclusions:

  • those who did not watch TV at all or spent little time in front of their screens lived on average two and a half years longer without cardiovascular problems than those who watched more television and were not active.
  • the physically active people who watched less TV or did not sit in front of their screens at all lived around one year longer without cardiovascular problems.

There are also other dangers threatening adults: their brain functions can change, eye strain might appear, they can have bad postures or become depressed.

Among children, increased screen time is risky because:

  • it ruins their quality of sleep: the more they use their laptops/watch TV, the more difficult it will be for them to fall asleep or preserve their sleeping routines. It is extremely risky to watch television before falling asleep or having the electronic device in their bedrooms.
  • it can lead to gaining extra weight: if they watch too many ads about fast foods or fizzy drinks, they will also be keen on consuming these unhealthy foods/drinks and will be less active physically.
  • we might experience behaviour and attention deficits among them: they can have difficulties in school, live with hyperactivity and various behavioural problems.

How can you decrease the time spent in front of the monitor/television?

  • Children younger than 2 should stay away from electronic devices
  • Find more active hobbies: rather go for a walk with your family or play a board game!
  • Create a "screen free" zone in your flat
  • Remove the television from the children's room
  • Do not leave the TV on as a "background noise"
  • Be a role model for your family, friends
  • Do not eat in front of the screen
  • When being at home, do not check your work emails outside your working hours
  • Turn off notifications
  • I know that it is more difficult now, but try to conduct online conversations in offline space instead
  • Monitor your time spent in front of your screen Be conscious about how often you open your smart phone just because you are bored
  • Sleep more

What benefits will you experience if you stick to "these rules"?

  • Less eye strain
  • Facing less headache, both literally and figuratively
  • Avoiding cardiovascular illnesses
  • Having better quality sleep
  • Being able to concentrate better, increasing productivity in work
  • Having more free time
  • Becoming more focused
  • Being more conscious
  • Doing more useful things
  • Facing problems more easily and not trying to avoid them.

Which risk is the most deterrent for you and what are the most attractive advantages of "being screen free"? Which method has been the most suitable for you from the ones listed? Do you happen to have any own winning tips? Do you know that in the long run half an hour gained per day can result in additional living years?

Friendly regards,

Károly Vizdák

lifestyle change & career coach

motivational advisor


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