We spend a lot of time looking at screens – which is why we’re proposing a screen-free summer.
Well, kind of.
Whether we’re looking at our smartphones, watching something on Netflix via our televisions, or sitting at our desks eye-balling our computer screens – we’ve slowly become accustomed to living through a screen.
But over time, the over usage of screens can cause a physical strain to your eyes and body – which can in turn lead to sleep deprivation and impaired social skills.
If you work with screens and your day job involves looking at a computer for most of the day, then it’s recommended that you limit your screen time after the working day is done.
This is why it’s paramount to break out from indoor spaces and escape the virtual world whenever possible.
The world has so much to offer – especially during the summer months.
So, it’s officially time to break away from your screen and start living life.
Dive head-first into nature. Go for walks when you finish work. Meet up with friends instead of endlessly WhatsApping them.
To help us on our way to a screen-free summer, education expert at The Profs, Richard Evans, has shared his top tips on how we can say hello real world as much as possible during the warmer months.
Take scheduled breaks
When you are working on a computer screen all day, it can be tiring.
Your eyes can feel tired and strained, you can get headaches more frequently, and back pain is a common complaint.
‘Set a realistic timer on your phone or smart watch to get up and stretch,’ Richard advises.
‘For example every 20 minutes.
‘The movement will provide circulation to your blood and allowyour joints to reset.’
Have ‘no device’ times
If you work at a desk most days, then you should be making an effort to completely log off and step away from the screen when you clock off.
‘Go for a long walk in the warm weather or do some cooking, anything that allows your eyes to have a rest from bright lights and your brain to focus on something else,’ says Richard.
‘You should even consider taking a full day on the weekend to switch off from devices and go on an adventure.’
Charge devices out of sight
Richard recommends charging any devices in a different room to you.
He explains how this will keep temptation at bay while testing your willpower to check notifications and instead focus your attention on something else.
Avoid video fatigue
You might think Zooming friends or colleagues doesn’t really count as screen time, but it does.
‘Having back-to-back calls scheduled in might seem like a good idea to get them out the way, but this can lead to Zoom fatigue, says Richard.
He recommends trying to have breaks in-between Zoom or Skype calls to break them up and allow you to step away for a while.
‘Taking the time to get some air can make a big difference to your attitude towards your next online session.’
If you feel as though you’re texting or WhatsApping too much, then maybe try picking up the phone and putting it to your ear for a phonecall.
Phonecalls are a little outdated in 2022, and it seems everyone has a fear of chatting on the phone, but it can really take pressure and strain off your eyes.
‘Try to voice call loved ones more than texting or video calling for a few months.
‘This will allow you to reduce screen glare and have more uninterrupted, focussed time with the recipient.’
Focus on your posture
With many of us complaining of back problems since working from home, it’s important that we shift focus to our posture.
‘A natural, upright posture will help to support your head and reduce any aches,’ advises Richard.
‘Try to pay attention to your posture throughout the day as this reduces strains.
‘If you have the wrong equipment, it is worth your health to invest in items that prevent neck and back pain.’
Delete distracting apps
Because apps like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are addictive, it’s never been easier to fall into the habit of endlessly scrolling.
‘Look at your most-used apps via ScreenTime and see if you can reduce the time you spend on them,’ says Richard.
He also recommends deleting any apps that distract you.
‘You don’t need to delete your account, just the app which tempts you to scroll.
‘Within time, you’ll enjoy the lack of distraction and provide yourself the power to only use them when necessary.
‘You can even set yourself time limits on some devices, so you never exceed the ideal amount of usage time.’
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