Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, but excessive smartphone use may not support physical and mental health. If you’re looking to improve your smartphone habits, these tips will help you stay healthy and balanced in the digital age.
Take Frequent Breaks
Whether you’re obsessively playing a new phone game, scrolling through social media, or texting your friends, take breaks every 20 to 30 minutes for a five-to-10-minute period. There are many ways using smartphones and health are connected, and taking frequent breaks can help prevent migraines, eye strain, and hand or wrist pain.
Use Voice-to-Text Features
Constant typing or scrolling puts a lot of strain on your thumbs, wrists, and other parts of your hand. If you use your phone frequently for work or recreation, consider using voice-to-text features to navigate your phone or send messages without using your hands.
Change the Font Size
The standard features on most smartphones have very small fonts. Fortunately, you can change the font size of your phone using the settings. Whether or not you’re vision impaired, increasing font size can help reduce eye strain and minimize squinting.
Adjust Brightness Settings
Your phone likely has settings for adjusting brightness, filtering out blue light, and putting certain apps into dark mode. Adjust these settings throughout the day to increase comfort and reduce eye strain.
Turn Off Your Phone at Night
Using your smartphone at night can increase anxiety and make it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. To avoid disrupting your circadian rhythm, turn off your phone at least an hour before bed. You should also avoid other screens that emit blue light, such as a tablet or TV screen. Place your phone far away from where you sleep and make sure to have notifications off.
Find a Healthy Alternative Activity
Many people turn to their smartphones for entertainment out of boredom and habit. However, if you find other enriching ways to spend your time, you’ll likely reach for your phone less.
If you’re looking for a soothing activity before bed, consider reading, journaling, or art. If you’re seeking a more stimulating activity, try exercising, playing a card game, or a new skill that interests you. When you feel lonely, call or meet up with a friend instead of texting or spending time on social media.
Stream Shows on Your Television
If you feel like watching your favorite show or browsing videos online, avoid doing so on your phone. TVs have a much larger screen, so you’re less likely to significantly strain your eyes. Additionally, when you watch television, your hands are relaxed and you can sit in a comfortable position that doesn’t require you to hunch over.
Watch Your Posture
Many people develop back, neck, or shoulder issues from spending too much time hunched over a phone screen. When you use your phone, pay attention to how you’re positioned. Try to sit upright with your shoulders back. Find a place to rest your elbows so you can keep the screen at eye level.
Enjoy Distraction-Free Time With Others
When you’re with family and friends, put your phone away and live in the moment. Whether you’re at the dinner table or catching up with a friend over coffee, resist the urge to grab your phone. Everyone needs face-to-face social time with others, and using your phone can get in the way of feeling connected.
Schedule Phone-Free Time
There’s no way around it. Even if you make subtle changes to use your device more sustainably, excessive smartphone use may be not support your health. Give your brain and body a much-needed digital break by putting your phone away for a set amount of time each day. If you are experiencing an internet addiction, you can consider doing a longer digital detox to make a habit of spending more time unplugged.
Smartphones can cause several health issues. However, you can mitigate many of these issues by setting boundaries and being mindful of how you use your device