With many of us now working from home and all ages going online more often and for longer it is important that we take care of our physical and mental health when doing so.
Health guides have been produced for parents about limits to screen time for children and young people but it equally applies to any age of person.
Link to download: rcpch screen time guide
Our primary recommendation is that families should negotiate screen time limits with their children based upon the needs of an individual child, the ways in which screens are used and the degree to which use of screens appears to displace (or not) physical and social activities and sleep.
I want to reduce screen time in my house: what can I do?
Have a plan and stick to it: It is helpful to sit down in calm moment, as a family, and
discuss the boundaries of screen use that you will be adopting, using the above questions as a guide. It is important that: everyone understands the boundaries; family members are praised and, if appropriate, rewarded for respecting these boundaries; and boundaries are consistently applied and, if necessary, consequences are put in place.
- Be aware, but not intrusive or judgmental, when it comes to teenagers’ use of the internet
- Think about your own media use: maybe what you are doing on your phone is
important, but can it wait?
- Prioritise face-to-face interaction: online interaction is great, but no substitute for the real thing!
- Be snack aware: If you are going to combine snacks with screen use, do so as part of an overall diet plan.
- Protect sleep: No screens for an hour before planned sleep time is a sensible rule of thumb [Link to download: rcpch screen time parent fact sheet]
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And what about your posture?
For working at home as from any place of work you need to think about your posture.
The NHS has some very helpful advice:
- Support your back
- Adjust your chair
- Rest your feet on the floor
- Place your screen at eye level
- Have the keyboard straight in front of you
- Keep your mouse close
- Avoid screen reflection
- Avoid wearing bi-focals
- Make objects easy to reach
- Avoid phone strain
- Take regular breaks
Click on this link for more information: How to sit at your desk correctly
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