As people spend more time online attending meetings, classes, binge-watching Netflix and gaming, screen fatigue has affected millions and Google experts have now listed some advice to cut screen time and stay healthy.
To avoid getting pulled into your phone, you can use your voice to ask Google Assistant for help completing actions, like setting an alarm, sending a text, playing the latest news, getting answers to questions, help finding recipes or ordering takeout and much more.
“You can also create custom or ready-made Routines to trigger several actions with a single command,” according to Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product Management, Google Assistant.
The Google experts advise people to find active alternatives like stepping away from the screen and add physical activity into your life.
“If you have children, you could even exercise with them. As you make progress, use Google Fit to keep track and earn heart points which can help you meet the World Health Organisation recommendations,” said Kapil Parakh, Medical Lead, Google Fit.
If you have kids, chat with them about the content you each prefer and work with them to plan out a schedule for listening, watching, playing and interacting with it.
“Does the content align with your family’s values? Does the experience affect your kids’ behavior in ways that help them relax and/or thrive? If not, consider alternatives and discuss your reasoning. Use this guide to get help talking to your kids about finding positive content and other tech topics,” explained Jennifer Kotler, UXR Lead, Google Play.
Clearly segmenting work time and non-work time improves one’s satisfaction with their wellbeing, Google said in a statement.
Turning off notifications and putting your laptop out of sight reduces the tendency to check work email or hop into a last-minute video meeting.
“When it’s time to get back to work, take a few minutes to think through your goals for that work time before getting started. And create a dedicated workspace to signal to your brain that it’s time to focus,” said Jessica DiVento, Chief Mental Health Advisor, YouTube.
Blue light can have a negative impact on our natural sleep cycles by delaying the release of melatonin and increasing our alertness.
“Start with around 30 minutes of screen-free time before bed, and work your way up to two hours, depending on what works best for you. Try reading a book or listening to an audio program instead so you don’t have to engage with a screen,” advised Alan McLean, Designer, Google Wellbeing Lab.