Too Much Screen Time? It’s Time to Take a Break

Sarah poses and smiles in front of a wooded area on campus.

This article is part of a running series with Rowan University’s Healthy Campus Initiatives. This collaboration aims to educate students about personal well-being options. For further updates, follow @RowanHCI on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Sarah smiling and sitting on a bench outside on the campus trail.

Presently, the amount of time individuals are spending in front of a screen is at an all-time high.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, our work, academic and social lives have had to move online to help prevent and limit the spread as much as possible.

Due to the transition of most activities going from in person to online, people are in front of their screens more frequently and for longer periods of time. Having such an abrupt and drastic increase in screen time within the past year, a dramatic decrease in physical contact with others, and the stress of the pandemic, mental health is being heavily impacted. 

Since moving to online, it has become increasingly difficult to disconnect and take a break from the screen and from studying and doing work. It has also been difficult for individuals to be physically active as well.

According to a study conducted by multiple authors, “sedentary life is a high risk factor for depression in adults” (Madhav, 2017). Researchers also determined from the results that “individuals expressed moderate to severe depression levels when screen time was six hours or higher” (Madhav, 2017).

With everything online, we are not only in front of the screen and connected constantly but individuals have become less physically active. These are both high-risk factors for depression and anxiety to either develop or worsen. With depression increasing, an increase in anxiety is being seen as well. For overall success throughout this pandemic, it is important that individuals take breaks and de-stress in order to effectively help manage and take care of themselves and their mental health. 

Sarah smiling while posing for a photo in front of the engineering building fountain.

Some ways to take breaks from the screen are to go on a walk without looking at your phone, take time to make a meal or snack, and limit your screen time on social media apps.

If you feel like you have been in front of the screen for too long, it is probably time to take a break!

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Story by:  
Sarah Mackenzie, sophomore biological sciences major

Photography by:
Joe Gentempo, senior art major

Reference:

Madhav, K., Sherchand, S., & Sherchan, S. (2017, August 16). 

Association between screen time and depression among US adults. Retrieved February 11, 2021, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574844/





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