Did you know the average cell phone user checks his or her device more than 1500 times in a week? On average, we also use our phones for three hours and sixteen minutes each day. Technology is such a large part of modern life that it’s nearly impossible for us to imagine living without it.
Trying to live in a digital-free world isn’t easy—most of us have to use technology for work and to keep our home lives organized. However, it’s important for your physical and mental health to unplug from your devices for at least a few hours each day. Here’s why you shouldn’t undervalue the importance of unplugging.
Reduce Your Body Pain
“Text neck” is a cutesy name for a real problem—and it can cause intense neck pain and damage to your spine. It happens when you spend too much time hunched over your cell phone or tablet and will begin to affect entire generations of people as chronic device-usage becomes more commonplace.
When you unplug from technology regularly, you’re removing the need to hunch over to look at a screen—so you can enjoy better posture, fewer aches in your muscles and spine, and an overall better sense of physical wellness.
If you do happen to notice your posture is becoming more hunched as you look over your phone, make sure to take the time to straighten your back and neck—your body will thank you.
Do you feel like you need more hours in your day? Most of us do, but we also aren’t taking the necessary steps to ensure we’re prioritizing our work. Social media notifications, email inboxes, and text messages all eat up valuable time during the workday—and accumulate so quickly that it can take up to 45 minutes to refocus and get back to work after checking them.
When it’s time to buckle down at work, place your cell phone in a drawer and use website blockers to remove unwanted distractions. Your productivity will soar, and you’ll feel a greater sense of accomplishment regarding your professional goals at the end of your work day.
Increase the Quality of Your Sleep
Humans depend on darkness to prepare for sleep—and looking at a bright screen before bed can be a direct contributor to sleep disruption or even insomnia. The blue light that’s being emitted from your screens can affect the levels of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, leading to a restless night of tossing and turning.
When you unplug from your digital devices for at least an hour before bed, your eyes and body can take the time they need to readjust and start preparing for deep rest. You’ll be surprised how often you wake up refreshed and ready to take on your day!
Strengthen In-Person Relationships
We depend on non-verbal body language to understand each other, and when a growing percentage of our time is spent solely communicating through text, our personal relationships can begin to suffer.
The kind of physical expression that gets lost in your device can be the missing link in your work or home life. If you find it difficult to connect with your coworkers, try meeting with them face to face to discuss a project rather than exchanging a few dozen emails. Your communication skills will improve, and you’ll start to see your professional relationships strengthen—leading to greater success.