It’s the digital age. It seems these days that mobile technology, laptops, and tablets are in constant use by everyone. After all, advancements have made these devices multifunctional, providing us with everything we need from necessity to recreation. Organization, entertainment, communication, relationships, and career-activities are often managed on smartphones, leaving us with attention devoted to the devices day and night. In fact, seventy-nine percent of smartphone owners check their device within fifteen minutes of waking up every morning. Our mobile usage has skyrocketed!

But while mobile devices seem to have improved the lives of this generation in so many ways, there’s plenty of speculation as to whether they interfere with a healthy life. For all the benefits this technology has, there are certainly major lifestyle implications of being consumed by our phones. Increased risk of brain tumors and cancer, back problems, and degenerating eyesight are a few of the many risks associated with gluing our eyes to a screen for multiple hours per day.

While dropping mobile technology use entirely is not an option, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your mobile usage remains within a healthy range. Here are some of our tips on how you can be mindful with mobile usage to improve your lifestyle and live better:

Being Mindful of Mobile Usage

The key word in all of this is intentionality! While mobile devices remain entirely necessary to our every day lives, there are small adjustments we can make in our use of those devices to reduce our risk for pain, disease, and relational issues. If you are someone who avidly uses technology, we recommend you implement the following practices into your everyday to be mindful with mobile usage and see how it makes a difference!

Practicing Better Posture

As stated before, technology is largely responsible for the influx of back and neck issues that the world is experiencing. This is mostly due to the fact that we hunch over when using our laptops and cell phones. However, there are small adjustments you can make in the short-term that will have major implications on your future health.

For example, when you are sitting in a chair, sit upright with your back against the chair. It helps to keep you from hunching over and can reduce a lot of stress that would otherwise be inflicted on your back. As stated before, this all comes down to intentionality. Continually reminding yourself to adjust your posture will change your habits for the better. Eventually, these practices will become instinctual and proper posture will just be part of the norm for you.

Giving Your Eyes A Break

You’ve probably heard this before, but you should always make sure you are giving your eyes a break from the screen. Not only is staring in one direction for prolonged periods of time unhealthy, but the blue light that is emitted from modern day electronic devices (such as mobile devices and computers) can be detrimental to our eyesight and brain activity.

A good rule is what we refer to as the 5-1 rule: For every 5 minutes of mobile usage, commit to looking away from all screens for a minimum of 1 minute. This way your brain is only exposed to the screen for short durations. It’s been proven to decreases risks of degrading eyesight, can help you sleep better, and improve your overall mood! Thanks science!

Communication and Happy Relationships

Finally, the big one! Phones make communication and relationships so much easier, right? Well, sort of. It really depends on how you are using your phone. While we’re able to stay in touch with relatives and friends in greater frequencies than before, face-to-face human interaction is still extremely important, at least from a relationship-healthiness standpoint. In fact, many studies have been published indicating the negative effects of mobile usage on our relationships. One big tip that we highly recommend in order to keep those healthy relationships healthy without the need to be glued to your phone is to set recurring reminders. 

It may sound silly that you’de need to place reminders to start talking to the important people in our lives, however, the reality is that people are in general too busy to keep up with everything and everyone. Setting quick recurring reminders to talk to friends, family, peers, or people of influence can be highly beneficial in the long run to both your personal happiness and your personal network. Building up this habit to plan ahead will free up your time to build healthier relationships.

Taking a couple nights a week to break away from addictive mobile usage and interacting with friends and family can lead to a healthier lifestyle and happier relationships!

Conclusion

Mobile device usage has so many functionalities. The fact that one device has practical uses in entertainment, work-related activities, and relationships often cause us to sacrifice a myriad of healthy practices.

At UpHabit, we are definitely leaning more on helping our users manage their time, and relationships in a healthy way. We want you to go out, connect, build meaningful bonds with the people you care about. At the end of the day, technology is great in its own right, but don’t let it come in the way of a healthy lifestyle and happy relationships. Avoid keeping your relationships entirely on a digital platform – take time out of each week to spend it in-person with family and friends!