Whether it is a computer screen, mobile phone, television, or some other type of electronic device, you are likely reading 99% of the information you see on a screen. Screen fatigue is a very real problem in modern times as all media and information is consumed on some type of screen.
Although switching to a near paperless society has driven a lot of efficiency and convenience, the downside is that information displayed on a screen takes a significant toll on the eyes and brain. It is important to develop practices that minimize the fatigue generated by screens to maximize your concentration and quality of work at the end of your day and week.
Google recently published a blog post with some good suggestions to help mitigate the mental toll electronic devices can take.
Find Active Alternatives
Breaking up your day with frequent changes in context is a great way to give your brain a break from a flickering screen.
As our days Ell up with video calls, try to step away from the screen and add physical activity into your life. Whether you go for a run, a bike ride or a walk during a telephone meeting there are many ways to squeeze movement in.– Kapil Parakh MD, MPH, PhD, Medical Lead, Google Fit
If you’re brainstorming something, considering standing up and writing on a white board. Or a simple pad and pen to flowchart a process with notes can be surprisingly fun.
Intentionally Detach and Reattach with Work
Another good way to push back against screen fatigue is to give your brain a clear signal when you are working and when you are not working. And when you are not working, do not spend that time in front of a screen.
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.– Jessica DiVento, Psy.D., Chief Mental Health Advisor, YouTube
If you take a break from a Powerpoint slide deck you are working on, but then sit and watch several YouTube videos during the break, your brain and eyes are not really getting much of a break. It might not seem like work, but your brain is still working. Same goes for a quick mobile game on your smartphone. It might be more fun than the slide deck, but your brain and eyes are probably working even harder on the mobile phone game.
Reduce Blue Light Before Bedtime
Make use of the “night light” features on your computer or mobile device. These features typically reduce the amount of blue light entering your eyes by altering the color of your display with a yellow hue.
Blue light can have a negative impact on our natural sleep cycles by delaying the release of melatonin and increasing our alertness.– Alan McLean, Designer, Google Wellbeing Lab
At the end of the day this feature will be a great help when you are working on that slide deck in the late hours of the evening.