Something frightening happened this week.
My computer died.
There I was happily posting my latest blog post then it happened. Total whiteness. No warning. Nothing. Sure I goggled “white screen on Macbook” only to get results saying “the white screen of death”. Seriously? This can’t be happening.
So there I was a full Sunday afternoon ahead of me and no computer. You see Sunday’s usually my computer time – working on the blog, trying to fix all the little bugs in my new website – but now, now what?
Well, I’ll tell you what – I read. A magazine. Not one or two – three. Yup I read magazines. And you know what? It was nice. I guess up until that point, I didn’t realize how much time I spent looking at a computer screen. And let’s face it, we all do. If you think about it, it’s pretty hard not to – you can do anything on a computer from watching movies to playing games to talking to another human being. In fact, recent reports show Americans spend almost eleven hours a day staring at a screen. Eleven hours. That’s like almost your entire waking day!
So while it’s not realistic to think we can eliminate screen time maybe it’s time to carve out some “screen-free time”. I mean after all research shows screen time is directly associated with increased weight. There are some theories as to why – decreased physical activity due to increased time just sitting around, mindless snacking while watching the screen or even unhealthy food ads influencing your food choices. Personally, I think it’s just a combination of all those things.
And you know what else? Limiting your screen time may help improve your sleep. Think about it, if you’re not spending so much time looking at a screen you may actually go to bed earlier. Some research also reports if you’re looking at a bright screen from something like a computer or cell phone, it may interfere with a person’s natural release of melatonin. What’s melatonin? It’s a hormone that helps tell your body that you’re sleepy.
So if something as simple as just reducing that screen time can help avoid unwanted weight gain and help you sleep better – then why not?
Oh right – me? Well, I am still awaiting the fate of my computer. In the meantime, I have a borrowed laptop to get me by – but I’m also trying to take a little more “screen free” time.
How many hours a day do you spend staring at a screen?
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