One of the hazards of our modern lifestyle is our tendency to become more and more addicted to staring at screens, and more and more sedentary.
We look at laptops and desktop computers, iPhones and Androids and iPads and iPods, TVs and movie screens, play video games, watch videos, surf the web, socialize online, work online. And we’re sitting the whole time.
We are a victim of this as much as anyone else. We are drifting toward this lifestyle, and while I’m no Luddite, I do believe that we should live less as victims and more consciously.
Too much screen time means less active time, less personal socializing, less focus on the present, less time for cooking healthy food, less time reading novels, painting, making music, making time for the ones you love (mine Golf). And too much sitting means fewer years on your life.
So what’s a better way?
Limit how much screen time you have each day. Limit your sitting to short periods with breaks in between.
I realize that many people have jobs that require them to have a minimum amount of computer time, and probably mostly sitting. So I don’t recommend a certain number, only that you figure out a limit and work with that.
Benefits of the Limits
We’ve loved it: we’re reading more books, spending more personal time with each other getting more business done, exercising more, getting outside more.
It also means that because we have a limit, we have to figure out the best way to use that time. We have to make choices — what’s worthy of our limited time, and what isn’t? This means more conscious use of our time.
Institute limits with your the kids, talking to them about it and getting them thinking about what would work best for them. Tell them to take breaks from devices throughout the day, so they’ll do other things.
For the kids they have more unstructured, imaginative play, more reading, more art and music, more activity. Kids get addicted to screens just as much as adults do, and it’s not a healthy thing for them. Trying to teach them ways to live a healthy lifestyle, which is a lesson with lifelong benefits.
We’ve found this lifestyle to be healthier, better for our relationships, better for our peace of mind. And to me, that means it’s something worth keeping.