Reduce screen time, reduce pain. It sounds simple, but not many people are ready to give up the remote.
With so many modern conveniences at our fingertips, it can be easy to fall into a pattern of sedentary living. The problem is that it increases our pain level during everyday activities. Just check out our blog post on how sitting at a desk can harm your back.
Are Your Daily Activities Causing Pain?
Picture your average day in your mind for a moment – do you experience pain during any of these activities?
- Joint pain when standing after watching TV
- Low back or hip pain while sitting at your work desk
- Neck or shoulder pain while working on your computer
- Wrist or elbow pain when using your cell phone
Modern conveniences such as laptops, cell phones, and televisions aren’t bad things by themselves. There are even some apps that will help improve your pain; however, when you combine long-term use with poor posture or furniture that lacks ergonomic design, you wind up with a recipe for increased joint pain.
The Average American Engages in 9+ Hours Per Day of Sedentary Activity:
According to a study released by eMarketer, adults in the United States spend more than five hours each day on “non-voice” mobile activities such as internet use on phones and tablets. When you consider that the average adult also spends nearly four and a half hours watching TV each day, you can easily see how these types of sedentary activity can affect pain levels.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a slave to your electronics. Try these tips to reduce sedentary screen time in your household.
Reduce Sedentary Screen Time to Reduce Pain:
Log Screen Time:
Odds are you spend more time in front of your computer, TV, or phone screen than you think. Practice logging screen time for a week for activities like checking email, playing video games, scrolling through social media, and watching TV or movies. By tracking this time, you’ll be more aware of how much you’re actually spending in front of a screen and start cutting back.
Set Screen Time Limits:
Screen time limits are important for adults and children alike. A limit of 2 hours per day of screen time (TV, phone, and computer) for leisure activities is perfectly reasonable. For younger children, even less time is recommended.
Sit Up Straight:
Ergonomic furniture and proper posture can help reduce pain during screen time. Proper posture reduces the strain on muscles and ligaments by supporting them. When sitting, your shoulders should be back and your back straight. Your buttocks should reach the back of your chair with your feet planted flat on the floor and your knees bent at a right angle. Your elbows should be supported by the arm rests, allowing your shoulders to relax.
Make Screen Time Active:
Combining screen time with an active activity is a great way to reduce pain. If you watch the morning news, try doing stretches in your living room while listening to the news anchor during the broadcast. Light stretches increase muscle flexibility and blood flow, which can help decrease joint inflammation. If you have room for it, a treadmill in front of the television is a wonderful way to combine a low-impact exercise like walking with your screen time.
Metropolitan Pain Consultants specializes in reducing and eliminating pain for our patients to help restore their ability to work and live as they desire. We strive to provide each patient with state of the art care in a compassionate and professional environment. At our Lyndhurst, Aberdeen, and West Orange offices, every patient is treated as an individual with a unique set of problems requiring a tailored, therapeutic approach.