Too Much Screen Time? Here’s How To Mix It Up
For many, including us here at Speedoc, working from home has also meant that we spend almost all of our time in the workday in front of our computers. Some have found themselves working over 50 hours a week since working from home; that translates to over 50 hours before a screen a week. This does not even include screen time off-work. Physical meetings are now replaced by video conferences and watercooler conversations between colleagues are now held online on WhatsApp or intracompany messaging platforms. If limiting screen time was a challenge for parents before, the shift to full home-based learning for students in Singapore has now made this task near impossible.
In a time where physical distancing is key to safeguarding ourselves and those around us, we still have the desire to remain socially and emotionally connected to our loved ones. The best way to overcome the physical barrier has been through text messaging and video and phone calls. Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime and WhatsApp video calls have given us an avenue to see and talk to our friends and extended family members, albeit through a screen.
When we’re not working or chatting with friends, we watch TV, Netflix, YouTube, and more. We even follow online workouts through our computers and mobile phones. All of these activities involve a digital screen of some kind. The amount of time we spend on our phones has skyrocketed – a user in the US even found that his screen time has increased by 185%.
For children, the limit is clearly set – the World Health Organisation recommends that children below 5 should be given no more than 1 hour of screen time, and those below 2 should not have any screen time at all. Young ones above 5 can be allowed a little more than 1 hour, but less is best.
Excessive screen time can have drastic effects on children’s brains. Artificial lights and flickering images could overstimulate certain parts of their brain and result in attention deficit, lowered sleep quality, lower energy level and more. Physically, research has shown that screen time could lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity among teenagers.
For adults, however, the line is blurred. There are no concrete recommendations for how much screen time an adult should be allowed a day. However, look out for these signs that you might need to put down your phone or shut down your computer:
The best treatment for tired eyes and other issues from too much screen time is to reduce your overall screen time permanently. However, if the discomfort is severe and you would like to seek medical help, Speedoc’s 24/7 on-demand doctors are here for you. With our newly-launched telemedicine services, you can request for a teleconsultation within minutes with a Speedoc doctor. The doctor will prescribe medication, arrange for a house call from a doctor or nurse, or provide a specialist referral according to your condition.
To request for a teleconsultation, download our app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Our on-demand doctors are also available for booking through our app, online booking system, or our hotline at +65 8180 8948.