4 Things That Happen When You Stare At A Screen All Day—And What To Do About Them

From office butt to tech neck.

stare at a screen all day
Image: iStock

Ever noticed how you feel like a completely different person when you skip back into the office after your vacay? Not only is your mind calmer and more focused, but your body actually less tense, too (albeit maybe a little bloated from going overboard on the local food!). While the reduced stress levels and increased exposure to natural sunlight definitely help, it could also just be that you haven’t been sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. While spending most of your time staring at a screen may feel ‘normal’ for us, it’s actually incredibly unnatural when you consider that our neanderthal ancestors spent their days hunting and gathering. So, it makes sense that doing so doesn’t exactly lead to optimal health.
That said, times have changed and using digital devices is kind of a non-negotiable in our modern era—especially if you have a desk job. The good news is, there are simple things you can do to alleviate some of the common afflictions that come from staring at a screen all day.

Office butt

Wondering why your backside doesn’t look as large and round as that fitness model’s? Well, she likely has a grueling fitness and nutritious plan to make it look that way. But chances are, she also doesn’t sit at a desk all day. When sitting, our derrière muscles switch off. This causes your bum to flatten, leading to a look that’s more pancake than perky. Thankfully, you don’t have to quit your desk job to reach #bootygoals. As well as doing strength training routine and making sure you get up from your desk every half an hour, you can do this killer butt workout without even leaving your desk.

Tech neck

If you’ve noticed a bit of excess skin under your chin and eating a healthy diet hasn’t helped, it could be tech neck. This refers to a specific crease located above the collarbone and can be attributed to the repeated bending motions of the neck when looking down at the screen of a tech device. These repetitive motions are causing people to experience wrinkles, sagging jowls and the appearance of double chins at an increasingly younger age. This is caused mainly by looking down at our phones, so the obvious solution is to spend less time scrolling through social media. However, there are also non-invasive laser solutions, such as Cynosure Australia’s Submental treatment 

Sore eyes

We all know by now that the blue light emitted from LED screens can disrupt our sleep. But did you know that it’s also bad news for our eyes, too? When the artificial blue light enters our retinas, it can cause muscle strain and visual damage to the eyes. The short-term impact of this is sore eyes and a headache and the potential long-term effect of prolonged exposure is eyesight conditions like macular degeneration. It’s obviously important to reduce your use of digital devices before bed, but you can’t really do the same during the day if your job requires you to use a computer. The solution? Get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses. Not only will these protect your peepers, but brands like Aussie start-up EXYRA make really stylish ones (perfect for people who have always wanted an excuse to wear glasses but have perfect eyesight!).

Poor posture

It’s no secret that most of us could afford to pay better attention to our posture—especially if you sit at a desk all day. Not only can poor posture lead to a Hunchback of Notre Dame-esque look (not cute) and spinal issues down the track, it can also affect everything from your digestion and breathing to your overall confidence. While the obvious solution is to ‘just sit up straighter’, that’s easier said than done—until it’s habit, the second you stop thinking about it, you’ll slump halfway down your seat again. Luckily, we got the intel from Australia’s leading posture expert and biomechanics authority, Dell-Maree Day on some of the little things you can do every day to improve your posture.

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