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Sometimes you just need to get outside and get away from the screen, you know? But it's getting increasingly difficult, as more of life becomes computer-centric, to get away from the blue glare. Here's a few things which may help:
- There's a little free app for Windows/Mac/Android/iPhone/iPad called 'f.lux' (justgetflux.com) which can shift the colour temperature (blue/red ratio) of your screen into the red when it is late in the day. This helps your body prepare for the evening's rest and enables the production of melatonin, which is reduced when you view blue-ish light. Windows also has its own built-in equivalent (with somewhat reduced functionality) in settings called 'night light', which is off by default. On Android there's also the 'Twilight' app, and I'm sure there's another equivalent on iPhone/iPad.
- Most newer phone operating systems have some form of 'screen time' functionality built in which registers how long and often you've been using your phone and tells you to get off if you've gone over your own limits. If they don't have it built in, find an app for it.
- Get up and stretch/move every ten minutes or so. Basic computer ergonomics suggests that just getting up from your chair every ten minutes or so helps the body and posture. Too long in one position and it's not great for your health. Try looking at stuff in the distance also, just to give your eyes a stretch.
- Shift your activities to other areas. Since so much of your life is in front of a screen now, consider alternatives for entertainment. Watching TV on your computer, 3 feet away from the screen? Try watching it on a tv screen from across the room. Or read instead! Try actively listening to music with a semi-decent stereo system (as opposed to passively absorbing it while doing other activities). Playing computer games? Try playing board games, card games or even sports (not everything is rugby - have you tried Ultimate Frisbee, laser tag, or competitive hopscotch? I may have made that last one up). Are jigsaw puzzles still a thing? If all else fails, try a jigsaw.
- Find more outdoor activities. Preliminary reports suggest that Vitamin D is a strong protector against Covid infection, amongst other diseases, and generally we don't get enough of it. The more you can do outside, the better, within reason.
If nothing else works, consider how much of your current daily activities you can do without - if a lot of them are computer-based. Is there something you're not really enjoying anymore that's forcing you to sit in front of the screen? Try removing that from your life, see what happens.
- Matt Bentley, computer expert at Bentley Home PC Support.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0211348576.
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