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What Is Your Screen Time?

I use an I-Phone and once a week I hear a “bing” sound different than the text message alert and when I look at the phone, I am informed how much “screen time” I had the past week and how this compared, percentage-wise, to the week before.  Sometimes the amount of hours/minutes presented to me seem egregiously high.  My mind is like “What??? No way!!!”.

Although I often rant and rave about the dangers of technology on our weight control efforts I am as guilty as everyone else in allowing screen time to take away from more productive time.   Some of our “screen time” is clearly important and is by no means a waste/bad use of time.  Speaking to your children/loved ones, setting alerts for when you need to do something important (such as eating your snacks and taking your meds!), reading my blog (ha, ha) and other times we spend on our “smart phones” are clearly productive use of our time.

However, if you find yourself spending screen time looking at what your Facebook friends are posting at the restaurant they are eating at, watching cat videos on Youtube, checking your Fantasy team’s performance every 5 minutes and/or sundry other “less important” initiatives being done on your phones, then perhaps a change is needed.  

Time spent on “not very productive” ventures on our phones is time not devoted to: planning meals, exercising, shopping for the right foods and/or multiple other uses of time that are necessary for successful weight control efforts.  All of us only have a certain number of “discretionary” minutes per day, meaning time that is not obligated to work and family issues.  Yes, we need “down time” to relax and take a break from our arduous schedules.  However, we all must take a look at our “screen time” and evaluate just how much of this time is truly productive in “relaxing” us.

The obesity rate in our country was 1/3 of what it is now before smart phones, I-pads, tablets etc. were introduced.  I am not implying the use of these devices are the sole cause of our obesity epidemic but they certainly are part of the problem.  

Hop on your phone and find the area where you can proactively see your weekly screen time and make a conscious effort to reduce this number and hopefully, convert some of that time to devote to your weight control efforts.  Your health and happiness will improve by doing so.

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