Rachel Brown, MD
The constant emails, calls, texts and alerts we receive from our various electronics keep us constantly distracted, accessible to everyone, and repeatedly interrupted while we are in the flow. Also, hand, thumb and neck ailments come from continually using our electronics. We are at a higher risk for automobile and pedestrian accidents and our sleep is disrupted due to the blue light that electronics emit.
Researchers have found that checking our phones and messages is highly addictive thanks to a jolt of the happy hormone, dopamine, that is released each time we look at our electronics. How do we beat the urge?
Consider these tips from Rachel Brown, MD, Prisma Health–Midlands' medical director of Health and Wellness, to help find a healthy balance in electronics use.
- Say goodbye. When you go on vacation, leave an out-of-office message for your emails and stick to it! Enjoy your vacation and do not check or answer emails during that time.
- Do not disturb. If you know a colleague is on vacation, do not email them even if you do not expect a response right away. When possible, wait until one day after they return to reach out to them to save them the distraction during their break and a full inbox when they return.
- TGIF! Try not to email new business to someone at the end of the day on a Friday. It is nice to start the weekend without a last minute request hanging over your head.
- Sit up straight. Try to keep electronic devices at eye level as often as possible.
- Block the blues. Wear blue blocker eyeglasses if you must look at electronics before bed.
- Take a holiday from your device. Do not keep your phone by your bedside at night and find one 24-hour period each week when you can keep away from your electronics.
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