We are all aware that we spend too much time on our smartphones – it is a fact! We are getting more and more addicted to it and accessing everything through our phones.
That means we interact with the real world less and less.
Through these devices, we talk to our friends, peer into people’s lives, check emails, do audio and video calls — our lives are just completely consumed by it.
While they help us connect with new people all over the world, we are missing real human interaction with people close by in our day-to-day life activities — family, friends, partners, colleagues.
[blockquote align=”none”] In addition to this, we don’t even think about what other parts of our body, besides our social life, are suffering. [/blockquote]
We often feel back pain, low strength in our hands, headaches and losing sight. However, we don’t mind these problems unless they become severe.
The cause of these symptoms is well known, but we choose to ignore it.
Knowing that we have to reduce screen time opens a space where you can substitute it with some other activity. The recommended one is getting physically active and that looks tough!
We need to find a balance between spending time on the phone, computer or TV shows, and being physically active like exercising, cycling, running, swimming, etc.
Having this in mind, we should start with small steps and choose the physical activity carefully (not everyone is prepared to become a top sportsman)
First, we need to start by reducing screen time and then getting physically active slowly and progressively.
Best tips to reduce screen time
You should start by setting screen time limitations and do this progressively. No one succeeded in this when setting very ambitious plans.
Create a “rule” that limits screen time to one to two hours every day and enforce it.
It would help if you were very serious and determined to execute this rule and see this as an achievement. There are many mobile and web apps out there that can do this for you. Try out some of them and see if it works.
Still, this can be done during a scheduled period where no smartphones, social media, TV, or computers should be allowed. In this period, you should be in the “Do Not Disturb” mode and don’t respond to notifications and requests.
Not showing notifications on your smartphone is a great start, but setting intervals for when you can check your phone is better.
For a good start, try out these things:
- Don’t eat in front of a screen
- Resist checking your work emails at home
- Try banning screens from the bedroom
- Swap online conversations for real-life ones
If you succeed in reducing the screen time you can begin to feel the benefits of having more free time. Therefore, you have a few more hours of your day to do something useful for yourself.
You will be less exposed to media violence, fake news, fake happiness, or someone else’s life.
Your eyes and brain will be thankful! Reduced screen time can reduce eyestrain and it can also prevent headaches and improve your sleep. These things are related one to another. Thus, your mind will be fresh which can increase your focus.
Increasing your focus means that you are getting more productive. Also, it is possible to weight gain and lower the cause of depression.
BONUS: Check these 33 productive things to do instead of social media.
Benefits of being physically active and doing sport
We all know that leading an active lifestyle is good for our health. Participating in regular moderate physical activity can result in enjoying numerous health and social benefits, including:
- improve concentration and learning
- increase self-awareness and personal confidence
- reduce feelings of depression and anxiety
- better bone and muscle development and prevention of bone and muscle defects
- encourage social interaction
- enhance self-esteem
- improve the quality of life
Physical activity also has a bunch of other positive spin-offs. It includes helping you achieve life’s demands daily, giving you extra energy, having an active lifestyle, enjoying doing different sports and connecting with others in the community.
Continuous exercising gives people an enormous sense of well-being and fulfillment. They also feel more energetic throughout the day, have sharper memories and sleep better. Most doctors recommend this as a powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges.
For adults aged from 18 to 63 years, it is recommended to do at least 150 to 180 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week.
Muscle-strengthening activities should happen almost every day or four days a week, depending on if you have a muscle or bone defect or not. Regular physical activity of moderate intensity such as walking, cycling, or doing sports – has significant and proven benefits for health.
However, we should be careful. At different ages, being physically active to some level can cause potential harm. Still, some physical activity is always better than doing none.
We can quickly achieve the recommended activity levels by becoming more active throughout the day in relatively simple ways. Just move more, with increased intensity, and sit less. To see and feel the benefits, you don’t have to make significant life changes. Just begin adding and building more activity into your day, one step at a time.
Be serious and keep on track
The goal is to achieve a balance between spending time in front of screens and being physically active.
Most people work on the computer or have to do something with a computer every single day. That needs to be compensated with doing exercises and physical activities. It is not good nor recommended to do one of these two excessively.
Don’t forget that we need to take a rest from these and all other activities. Resting is crucial when combined properly after or between work and exercising.