How much Screen Time is too Much? Pain from your posture?
We live in an age where we find a television, mobile phone, computer, tablet or all of above in each room of the house, workplace or school.
Information is right at our finger tips, interaction with others is so easy, and effectiveness of work and school life has been aided. However, it hasn’t aided in GOOD HEALTH.
Less than 1 in 3 children (5-17 year olds) met the “no more than 2 hours of screen time” every day. With a further 70% of adults (12 million) either being sedentary or having very low levels of physical activity. It is likely that you would of had pain from your posture at some stage.
This should be some food for thought, especially when you pair it with the fact that physical INACTIVITY is the 4th leading cause of death due to non-communicable disease worldwide, and is the second greatest contributor to cancer burden in Australia.
But why is this important?
So, I want you to take a moment and scan your mind over how your body has felt over the previous few weeks.
Have you felt you have had pain from your posture?:
- a tight neck
- stiff mid back
- sore lower back
These pains are commonly a result from excessive screen time. There has been an increasing trend of neck/low back/headache pain in the past years as our community/world has taken on technology. A large proportion of adults would spend their majority of time at work in a chair and on a computer. And in recent years, schools are following in these footsteps, with each student having their own ‘school laptop or iPad’.
Now we can’t necessarily change this or the amount of overall time we spend on computer screen time if it’s work or school related, but here are some handy tips at trying to avoid pain form your posture.
- A workplace ergonomic setup is a good start. Here is an article with some good tips on the best way to sit in front of your computer and avoid headaches.
- Regular breaks from the screen is also important. I find that this can be easily achieved by only keeping a glass of water on your desk and taking regular water breaks to refill the glass. Therefore making you and your muscles change position (reducing those headaches, stiff necks and sore backs!). Regular breaks should be taken every 20 minutes, and only need to last 20 seconds to be effective!
- Regular breaks isn’t just for the workplace, children playing video games or watching television should do the same.
- Increasing physical activity for children is really important for development of certain physiological functions such as bone growth and mental capacity.
- Aim for less than 2 hours of screen time daily when you away from work/school to prevent those niggles, and try to get 60 minutes for children and 30 minutes for adults, of physical activity every day to help ‘feed’ your body. Motion is lotion!
David Wilson, myPhysioSA Physiotherapist Mount Barker Adelaide