LETTER | Maintain your health during screen time

Azra Aliah Abdullah


LETTER | Over the past few months, we have experienced an unprecedented shift in our way of life due to Covid-19. It changed people’s lives as they need to live in a new norm, particularly students and workers who are required to stay at home.

Since smartphones and internet access have become necessities, it is crucial to maintain health during screen time. Therefore, some guidelines can be followed to keep healthy while on the screen.

Set up the computer properly

Balance the monitor's brightness; ideally, the brightness of the monitor should be equal to the brightness of the region immediately behind it. Change display settings to avoid uneven brightness which can cause headaches or vision problems.

Centre the monitor with the screen angled slightly upward. This will help you to see the entire screen without moving your head or adopting an unnatural pose.

To avoid eye strain, sit an arm's length away from the screen. You need to sit further back if the monitor is 20 inches or larger. It is crucial to protect the eyes. Eye strain is a common concern for those who spend a lot of time on computers. This is known as 'computer vision syndrome' in medical terms. 

Drink lots of water

Standing in front of a monitor all day necessitates proper hydration. Place a glass of water close by so it's easy to find and will not be forgotten. Also, take a break from the screen by walking to the water cooler every now and then.

Desk exercise

Did you know that sitting has been labelled as a 'disease'? A study has shown that long periods of sitting have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death. Doctors recommend taking regular breaks and doing the following: set your alarm clock as a reminder to take a break and exercise; stand up and move around for one to three minutes every half hour; and stretch your arms, legs, neck, and torso (even while sitting).

Use ergonomic chairs and tables

If there isn't any access to a treadmill or a standing desk, make sure your computer table and chair are ergonomically built. Ergonomic furniture reduces exhaustion and pain. The chair should, in general, have adequate lumbar support to support the lower back and be adjustable to the height of the table and computer monitor. Office furniture should be flexible to match the height and size of each person.

Minimise use of computers and gadgets in the evenings

Cell phones, laptops, and tablets emit blue light, which has been shown to interrupt sleep habits, especially for teenagers. Sleep deprivation can put you at risk for a variety of health problems, including chronic fatigue, heart disease, diabetes, and even depression. To prevent this, set the device's screen to a lower brightness or download a blue light-reducing app. Better still, turn off the computer when about to go to bed. Instead of holding the smartphone near the bed, use an alarm clock to wake up in the morning.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.