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How to cut down on your screen time

How to cut down on your screen time

Smartphones and tablets are devilishly addictive, so much so that two Australian scientists have discovered that youngsters are beginning to evolve horns at the back of their heads from looking down at their devices!

How many times a day do you raise your phone, unlock the screen and just put it down again? Or end up mindlessly scrolling through social media just for the sake of it?

We’ve developed these bad habits which are starting to affect aspects of our daily lives, including sleep, work and school.

In 2019, a survey of 2,077 people aged 16 and over revealed that we spend a lot of time on our phone, an average of 3 hours 23 minutes a day to be precise. This goes up to 3 hours 58 minutes for 16-24 year-olds.

Young people spend more time looking at their phones, but they're the least happy with it. 26% of 16-24 year-olds revealed they were unhappy with how much time they spend on their phone.

So it’s about time we thought more about ourselves and not what those celebrities are up to! Here are a few ways you can reduce your screen time:

Monitor your usage

They don’t call them ‘smartphones’ for nothing! Instagram, Facebook and Apple iPhones all have a feature that records how long you’re engaging with your phone and apps. Sometimes you need to see it to believe it because after all, what gets measured, gets managed.

This feature also allows you to set a time limit for certain categories and you’ll receive a reminder when you’ve reached the usage limit!

Deliberately leave your phone at home

Probably one of the most effective ways of reducing your phone usage, if you don’t have your phone on you, you won’t be able to use it! Sometimes we even text our friends to say “I’m outside”, what happened to ringing the doorbell?

If you’re heading out for a day of fun or going out to dinner, ditch the phone and enjoy the company of your friends!

Ban your phone from the bedside

If your phone is the last thing you see at night and the first thing you check in the morning, you’re likely to end up picking it up throughout the entire day!

Keep your phone at the other end of the room and start using an ordinary alarm clock, that way you’ll be less tempted to check your notifications and messages as soon as you wake up.

Read a book

Remember when reading off paper was a thing? We seem to use Kindles and tablets these days, but even they have several distracting apps. Take the time to choose a book you like the look of and read a chapter or two every day.

There are many benefits to reading, (link to ‘benefits of reading’ blog) from strengthening your brain to actually improving your health!

Workout more

Book yourself into some fitness classes and focus on your physical health, just don’t be one of those people who spend their entire gym session in front of a mirror, taking photos of their muscles!

The NHS recommends that adults aged 19 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, this works out to 21 minutes a day, or 30 minutes five days a week.

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