As we continue to explore ways to manage stress and improve family health this month, I would like to offer just a few staggering — and non-comprehensive statistics — on technology and smartphone usage.
Between work and personal life, the average adult spends nearly 11 hours looking at a screen per day. Similarly, the University of California Irvine found that if we get distracted from a task by a mobile phone notification, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to fully regain our focus. It probably doesn't surprise you to hear that 3 out of 4 adults use their phone in the bathroom. It probably also won't surprise you to learn that our increasing screen time has an increasingly large effect on our overall well-being in a number of ways.
For example, a study by the University of Texas found that smartphones affected the intelligence and attention span, just by being on the participant’s desk. Not to mention, its use lowers the quality of our conversations and interactions when company or loved ones are so distracted. And that study didn’t even consider smart watches that add another layer of connectedness via constant messaging and emails received quite literally at an arm’s length.
Do you have your phone on your person nearly 24/7?
Do you feel overwhelmed by being constantly connected?
Are you experiencing burnout?
Do loved ones complain about your phone usage?
You aren’t alone.
Perhaps it’s time to set some limits and boundaries around your phone usage. There are many ways you can do this. Most phones now report back on your average daily use. Can you set a goal to lower that each week? Start small like reducing it by 5%. Designate phone-free zones, like the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and car (distracted driving is downright dangerous, anyways).
What if you used your 20-minute daily commute to reflect, meditate, or listen to music or a book without the possibility of being interrupted by your phone? Or perhaps you could designate a time of day to put your phone away. Maybe it's 2 hours prior to bedtime, or when you walk through the door after work, or while you’re working (if it allows), or even specific to the day of the week, like a Sunday phone-free day.
There are many ways to a skin a cat, but naming a specific time and or place will help keep you accountable.
Need more support around this? Our Health Advisors are wonderful partners to help you reach your technology related goals. Your mental health and loved ones will thank you!
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– Keeley Mezzancello, MS, RD, LDN, CHWC
Health Advisor, Registered Dietitian | Email Keeley