Smart devices have become indispensable tools in our personal, educational and professional lives, and there is no denying the numerous advantages they provide in the form of improved efficiency, access to any information we desire within seconds, and an endless stream of entertainment options. However, despite the obvious benefits provided to us by smart devices, it is important to be aware of the potentially negative consequences when they are used excessively and in the wrong way.
Digital screen-based activities affect every aspect of our lives, with half of all households around the world having a personal computer and up to 35% of people owning a smartphone. It has become obvious that many people, especially children and teenagers, spend increasingly long hours in front of screens, often at the expense of other activities including face-to-face social interaction and educational responsibilities. As more people adopt a digital lifestyle at younger ages and continue to use their devices more often, there is growing interest by researchers, healthcare professionals and the general public regarding whether these long hours spent staring at screens contribute to poor health and, if so, how these negative health outcomes may be avoided.
Research is beginning to shed light on the health consequences of excessive screen time, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer, resulting from the sedentary lifestyle associated with device use. Musculoskeletal disorders are very common in people who use devices for long periods of time and may result from the unnatural posture experienced during long hours of device use. Significant disturbances to mental health, including internet addiction disorder, depression and anxiety have also been associated with too much screen time, with many young people experiencing compulsive urges to use their devices, as well as social isolation and strained family relationships. More recently, excessive screen time has been linked to eye health problems both in children and adults.
Explore our specifically designed products and services backed by eye health professionals to help keep your children safe online and their eyes healthy.