Benovate’s Expert Blogger
Benovate’s Expert Blogger
How Staring at Screens All Day is Affecting Your Employees Health.
Too much screen time is a common theme amongst children, but there are detrimental effects on employees as well. As more and more jobs become centered around screens, the negative effects of staring at pixels all day have become more apparent.
Screens have infiltrated more than just our work lives, making it doubly important for employers to consider employee health and how their days are structured. The connection between workplace wellbeing, and that of employees, is something we’ve written on many times. Finding ways to limit screen time is another way organizations can help employees be at their best.
Here are some of the most common ill effects of screen time… And what companies can do to alleviate them.
3 Most Common Effects of Screen Time on Your Employees Health:
Computer Vision Syndrome
Dry, strained eyes and headaches are the most common side effects of computer vision syndrome. These symptoms can be aggravated by poor posture and tight shoulders, too.
What your company can do: providing ergonomic evaluations or educating employees on ways to reduce eye strain, like using different color settings and blinking more (it’s true!), can help address this issue. Allowing employees to utilize standing workstations and alternative chairs can help as well.
Suppressed Melatonin Production
Using computers and smartphones heavily throughout the day are shown to inhibit the natural production of the sleep-hormone melatonin. This can cause sleep disruption, making it harder not only to fall asleep but also to cycle through sleep cycles and achieve adequate deep sleep. Throwing off our circadian rhythms can also lead to depression, mood disorders, and increased risk of some cancers.
What your company can do: implement “no screen zones” or times of day during which employees are not allowed to have their computers (smartphones are probably harder to police). Encourage and create a culture where employees are expected to be present at meetings and not on their computers checking email.
When we’re working, most of us are sitting. Screen time has been tied to weight gain, higher cholesterol, and everything that comes along with a sedentary lifestyle increases in conjunction with screen time per day.
What your company can do: encourage movement during the workday and set up activity breaks during long meetings or encourage walking meetings to get people out of their desks more often. Part of the screen time addiction can also reside in the constant stream of notifications we receive… Slack, email, and more are fighting for your employee’s health and attention. Provide employees information on how they can best structure their days that might include designated time blocks to work on email, turning off notifications during lunch and breaks, and opportunities to unplug during structured team building events.
Now’s the time to help your employees.
The benefits of cutting down on screen time can’t be overstated. And as an organization, it’s important to realize the effects on employees. Give them the chance to unplug once in a while to recharge.