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5 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Be More Engaged

Do you wish you could rewind precious moments you missed with your family because you were glued to the TV, phone, or computer?

 Couple not talking to each other. They are each on a tablet or cellphone. How to cut down on technology use.

Technology is great, but it can also have some negative effects—impacting your body and interfering with your relationships. Focusing too much time on a screen means focusing less on the relationships around you.

You may experience some of these physical symptoms from staring at a screen for extended periods of time:

  • Eye strain
  • Tension headaches
  • Disrupted sleep patterns
  • Anxiety from Web searches or social media comparisons
  • Spine and posture problems—looking down at your phone can put a lot of pressure on your back
  • Sedentary lifestyle—the more we sit and stare at a screen, the less we are moving and getting necessary activity in our day to keep us healthy

So, how can you toss the technology and become more engaged with your friends and family?

Related: How to Communicate Better with Others

1. Begin your day without technology

Decide not to turn on any technology during your first waking hour. Ease into the day by eating breakfast with family and spend time focusing on what and who is most important in your home.

2. Experiment with short periods of time without devices

At the dinner table, have everyone put away their phone or tablet. This opens the dinner table up to a place of real conversation with the people right in front of you.

3. Learn together

Choose an activity you and your family can do together. Take this opportunity to turn the phone off and go on a tour, take a class, learn a new skill, or play a game.

4. Delete social media apps from your phone

You can reinstall them eventually, but not having easy access will keep you from wasting time on your phone when you could be spending time with people who are more important in your life.

5. Practice moderation

Technology can provide us with unlimited entertainment and information, but too much isn’t good—we miss out on life happening right in front of our eyes.

Give these technology-tossing tips a try and tell us how they've worked for you! Or send us your own tricks you've tried to be more engaged.

Related: Reasons Why Being Positive Is Good For Your health

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

 

References:

Becker, Joshua. “7 Important Reason to Unplug and Find Space.” Becoming Minimalist. Becoming Minimalist, 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <http://www.becomingminimalist.com/unplug-please/>

“When Technology Takes Over your Life.” Web MD. Web MD, n.d. Web. 03 Feb. 2016.  <http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/features/when-technology-addiction-takes-over-your-life?page=4>

Holmes, Lindsay. “Sneaky Ways Technology is Messing with Your Body and Mind.” HuffPost Healthy Living. The Huffington Post, 05 Dec. 2014. Web. 03 Feb. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/05/health-effects-of-technol_n_6263120.html>

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Post Author

Karlee Kump

Karlee has a degree in Public Health from BYU and is currently working on a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Education. Karlee is a Community Health Coordinator and has been with Intermountain Healthcare for 4 years. Her prior roles include health education and wellness coaching.