Unfortunately, right now, we can’t get around the fact that we are always looking at a screen. Between our phones and laptops, we’re looking at screens way more than before. Since we know that we can’t necessarily control our screen-time as well as before, we have to be more creative. Overall, we’re going to talk about screen-time “fatigue”, but that really means talking about the common symptoms that can present themselves when screen-time is above average.
- Headaches. Very, very common. This is typically due to eye-strain. Aside from taking small breaks throughout the day, you could also turn your brightness down a little or increase the zoom setting to help you see and read better. It’s also important to stay hydrated all day long. Drinking enough water is an easy thing to forget about when you’re jumping between meetings or classes all day. (I’m guilty of this myself)
- Blurry Vision. This is also known as “Computer Vision Syndrome”. This symptom is a good indicator that your eyes are tapped-out. I know most people can’t just stop working altogether if this symptom happens during the day, so here are some things that might help. You can try moving your laptop further back, around 20 inches from your face is a good place, and tilt the screen so it’s slightly below eye level. Another thing to try would be taking breaks. Because blurry vision for a prolonged period of time can actually cause real eye damage, it’s important you listen to your body. Take a break as soon as you can. You only need about 15 minutes for your eyes to readjust to your regular environment.
- Dizziness. This is also known as “Cybersickness” (lol..even though the symptoms aren’t fun, at least the names are). If you randomly get dizzy throughout the day, it could be from those evil screens. First try fixing your workspace as we just talked about (screen brightness, distance, and placement). If you’re still experiencing dizzy spells, find a time to take a break, and lay down with your feet elevated. Sometimes when you sit for long periods of time, your circulation can slow down–this will help.
- Neck/Back Pain. This is another super common symptom. The “treatment”–even simpler. It’s all about posture and stretching. It’s so sooo easy to lose your posture over the course of the day, but it could be the root of your neck and back pain. Sit up straight…move your chair closer to your desk if that helps. Stretching will also help with the pain. Here’s a link that walks you through a bunch of different stretches for these areas: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/upper-back-pain-exercises#10-stretches
I hope some of these tips help! If your symptoms persist after you make the necessary adjustments, it might be in your best interest to go to your doctor (just in case) (:
Written by GUADS staff member Toni