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What Are the Health Effects of Too Much Screen Time?

Humans seem to have an intuitive knowledge that too much screen time isn’t good for us. Digital detoxes are now a popular phenomenon in health-conscious communities, and today’s parents are increasingly concerned about the amount of time their kids spend looking at screens.

Television is one thing, but today, many of us also spend our working hours in front of a computer, and our spare moments browsing social media. So what kind of health issues should we be concerned about?

SLEEP PROBLEMS

You may have heard that screens emit blue light, a type of light present during the daytime. Biologically, humans have grown accustomed to seeing blue light only during the daytime, and the presence of this type of light suppresses the production of melatonin (a hormone that helps you fall asleep). For many people, looking at screens in the evening can mess with hormones, making it difficult to fall asleep.

SCREEN FATIGUE

If you work in an office, you’re probably all too familiar with the feeling of screen fatigue. You know what I’m talking about — that feeling where your eyes have a hard time focusing, often leading to fuzziness and headaches. While more of a symptom than a health problem, there’s no doubt that screen fatigue is unpleasant and can make you feel unwell.

ADDICTION

Internet addiction is a very real thing, and the World Health Organization recently named Gaming Disorder as a global problem. Rally Health explained how our brains become addicted to screen time:

“Dopamine, the “feel-good hormone,” is part of the brain’s pleasure and reward circuits. Playing video games turns on similar brain regions as those linked to cravings for drugs and gambling, Ditto for social media — every time we see a new post or get a reaction to ours, it’s like a hit of brain candy,” author Melissa Pandika writes.

BRAIN CHANGES

Unfortunately, it looks like all of this screen time can actually change the physical brain. Psychology Today reports that people who suffer from internet addiction experience shrinkage in the areas of the brain where grey matter is present. These areas are responsible for a number of functions, including planning, organization, impulse control and decision making.

SEDENTARY LIFESTYLES

All of these effects are serious health concerns, but there’s one parallel issue that tends to come along with a lot of screen time: inactivity. Sedentary lifestyles are known to lead to numerous health problems, including not only weight gain, but chronic disease.

SOURCE: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/what-are-the-health-effects-of-too-much-screen-time.html


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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

Dear Patients:

Our patients, employees and family are our top priority at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

We ask you to not visit any of our locations if you have symptoms such as fever, sneezing, coughing and possible shortness of breath.

Please cancel your appointment and re-schedule once you are feeling better and are no longer suffering with symptoms.

Only non-symptomatic patients will be seen. No exceptions.

Accompanying family members – including children – are asked to remain in the waiting area and will not be allowed to enter the exam rooms.

During this time of high concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are taking extra precautions to maintain the highest possible standards of safety and cleanliness. Please be advised that we are carefully following recommendations from both the CDC and WHO and are here to help guide you through this time if needed.

Some steps we are taking to keeping safe:

  1. We know how important cleanliness is and always maintain the highest standards of cleanliness. To further offer you peace of mind, we have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our office.
  2. Rest assured that hand washing is strictly followed. Hand sanitizer is available to all staff and patients.
  3. Additionally, if you have recently traveled to a country with high rates of the coronavirus or have been on a cruise, please reschedule your visit for at least 14 days from your return date. We will gladly accommodate your needs to reschedule. At that time, a telehealth interface can be arranged if necessary.

Find up-to-date and accurate information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and feel free to reach out with questions.

- Your team at Long Island Spine Specialists, P.C.

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To learn more about Long Island Spine Specialists – and to discover how we can relieve your pain and help you find an improved quality of life – please contact our office today and schedule a consultation.

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