Time for a tech break?

Don’t let your phone dominate your life. Here are five good reasons to switch off on the National Day of Unplugging this Friday, 4 March.

Screens became a ubiquitous part of our life during lockdowns. We relied on them for connection, exercise and entertainment.  Now that we’ve emerged from lockdown life it’s a great opportunity to set some boundaries and consciously unplug from devices.

Need a bit of convincing? Dr Lauren Arundell, ARC DECRA Research Fellow at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), has outlined six ways unplugging could improve your and your child’s life.

1. Better sleep

High screen time is linked to poorer sleep duration and quality. Use downtime to rest, relax and get a good night’s sleep.

2. More satisfying social life

High screen use is linked to lower social skills and social connectedness. Instead catch up with a friend or family face-to-face and enjoy the interactions.

3. More harmonious home life

Screen time is a major source of conflict and tension in the home. Switch off as a family and enjoy the time together.

4. Boost physical health

Excessive screen time is linked to increased risk of obesity and cardio-metabolic disease risk factors. Unplug and head outside to do something active.

5. Improve mental health

High screen time is linked to elevated depressive symptoms and lower wellbeing. Switch off and chose an alternate activity you enjoy participating in, either on your own or with others.

6. Better relationships with your kids

Children also get the benefit of parents switching off. High parent screen time is linked to reduced parent-child connection. Children are more likely to internalise and externalise behaviours and engage in risky behaviours. Unplug and let your child choose an activity you can do together.