As the digital revolution continues to flourish, adults in the UK are spending more time online than they do sleeping, an Ofcom report has found.
Are you a person who finds it hard to be separated from your phone, Ipad or other digital device? Do you break out in a sweat when your battery level reaches low?
Or perhaps you're a 'pillow surfer' - someone who surfs the internet on their preferred device last thing at night and reaches for it as soon as they wake up?
Well, here are some of the risks and problems you could potentially face unless you have regular "tech timeouts".
- Digital eye strain
People using digital devices need to open their eyes to the risks of developing eye strain, optometrists warn.
It is associated with prolonged exposure to close to mid-range distance digital screens, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, e-readers and mobile phones.
Symptoms include: eye discomfort, headaches, difficulty focusing, watery or dry eyes, blurred or double vision and or increased sensitivity to light.
According to Specsavers, here are some things you can do to reduce the risk
- Rest your eyes
- Take regular screen breaks
- Use adequate lighting
- Reduce glare
- Adjust your monitor's settings
- Have an eye test
- Disrupted sleep
With 47% of the 2,025 adults and 500 teenagers surveyed by Ofcom, revealing that they miss out on sleep due to their online antics, it seems many of us could do with revising our sleeping habits.
Sleep experts advise against using computers, smartphones or tablets two hours before going to bed as they stimulate the brain and keep you awake.
- Are you becoming a social pariah?
Many people are regularly snubbing their friends or relatives because they are too engrossed in their smartphone or tablet.
Research suggests that some are even opting to text or WhatsApp friends and family instead of talking face-to-face, even though they’re sitting in the same room!
Reduce your risk of social exclusion by putting down your smartphone and engaging in some quality face-to-face time. Or better yet, take a digital sabbatical, it just might transform your life.
- Repetitive strain injury
RSI is frequently associated with doing a particular activity repeatedly or for a long period of time. For example, continually swiping your thumb across a screen, rapidly tapping out texts or messages throughout the day or clicking on a mouse.
It usually affects parts of the upper body, such as the forearm, elbow, wrist, hands, shoulders and neck.
NHS Choices advises checking that you are maintaining a good posture, taking regular breaks from repetitive or long tasks and trying relaxation techniques if you are stressed as it can be a contributing factor.
- Poll: Are you in need of some digital down-time?