Ever feel like you are never really disconnected?
The constant emails, texts and alerts we receive from our various electronics keep us distracted, accessible to everyone, and repeatedly interrupted. Rachel Brown, MD, explained why we need to disconnect from our electronics and shared some tips on how to reach a healthy balance with our devices.
How does overuse of devices affect our health?
Researchers have found that checking our phones and messages is highly addictive thanks to a jolt of the happy hormone, dopamine, that is released each time we look at our electronics. So it keeps us coming back, leading to these issues:
- Hand, thumb and neck ailments from repetitive motion and prolonged periods of time in the same position.
- Higher risk for car and pedestrian accidents due to distraction.
- Disrupted sleep from late nights spent scrolling.
How do we beat the urge to use electronics?
To help find a healthy balance in electronics use, consider these tips from Dr. Brown:
- Say goodbye. When you go on vacation, leave an out-of-office message for your emails and stick to it! Enjoy your vacation and do not check or answer emails during that time.
- Do not disturb. If you know a colleague is on vacation, do not email them even if you do not expect a response right away. When possible, wait until one day after they return to reach out to them to save them the distraction during their break and a full inbox when they return.
- TGIF! Try not to email new business to someone at the end of the day on a Friday. It is nice to start the weekend without a last-minute request hanging over your head.
- Sit up straight. Try to keep electronic devices at eye level as often as possible.
- Take a holiday from your device. Do not keep your phone by your bedside at night and find one 24-hour period each week when you can keep away from your electronics.
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