Ever since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of remote working has significantly increased. Many people around the world have now experienced the convenience of flexibly working out of the office through using digital technology.
In fact, many businesses have benefited from increased employee productivity and satisfaction from remote working. Some are even permanently transformed and committed to adopting remote work as a new method of working for their employees.
However, many people do not know that the overuse of digital technology also comes with many health risks. And although these risks may not manifest themselves immediately, they may accumulate over time if left unchecked and negatively impact your digital wellbeing.
So, if you are a digital nomad or a remote worker, please read along. Here are several things you need to know on how to keep your digital wellbeing in check!
What is Digital Wellbeing?
Simply put, digital wellbeing is all about maintaining your health from the impacts of using digital technology. This is because using digital technology too much could negatively impact your physical and mental health.
One example of this negative impact is the issue of “too much screen time”. According to Statista, digital users from Indonesia spend an average of more than 8 hours a day on the internet in 2020.
Even at the first glance, we can see that this is not a healthy number. Such prolonged use of digital devices not only hurts your eye but could cause unhealthy addictions to stay online. After all, nobody should be staring at their phone or computer screens for that long, especially every day!
This is why understanding digital wellbeing is very important, especially for remote workers and digital nomads who rely on digital technology to do their jobs. Without proper awareness, people may develop bad habits through overusing digital technology that could lead to health problems.
How Do I Know If I Suffer From Lack of Digital Wellbeing?
Lack of maintenance on your digital wellbeing could lead to many problems for your health and your work performance.
People with too much screen time are at risk of physical health issues involving the eyes, brain, and body. The blue light emitted by your device’s screen can cause digital eye strain and imbalances in your body’s sleep-regulating hormone. Not only that, but the overuse of digital technology could also overload your brain with too much information, especially if it does not receive enough rest. All these problems could then lead to symptoms like:
- Dry eyes;
- Blurred vision;
- Pain in the neck or shoulders;
- Sleep disorder or insomnia;
- Short-term and long-term memory problems;
- Difficulties in keeping focus; and
- Weight gain due to physical inactivity.
In addition, a lack of digital wellbeing could also negatively impact your mental health. For example, Gartner shared that three factors negatively affect remote workers’ mental health. Those factors are:
- Distractions, where remote workers are 2.5 more likely to be easily distracted by digital distractions such as notifications from social media or email alerts.
- Fatigue, where remote workers experience digital fatigue from virtual overload from attending to too many mentally and socially exhausting virtual touch points or meetings.
- Addiction, where remote workers experience great difficulty in disconnecting from their digital technology and have an unhealthy tendency to be “always online” and on standby.
You may be keen to read Looking After Your Mental Health during the Coronavirus Pandemic
How Should I Maintain My Digital Wellbeing?
Much like your diet, know that you are your own best solution for your digital wellbeing. Digital wellbeing is not just a matter of personal health, but also a matter of personal responsibility over your digital habits.
Thus, here are 4 tips that you too could do to improve your digital wellbeing:
1. Take Regular Breaks Away From the Screen
Too much screen time put strains on your eye. So, it will be great for you to practice blinking more to keep your eye from drying up and take regular breaks looking away from your phone or computer so your eyes can rest.
One of the methods doctors recommend is called the 20-20-20 break. To do this you simply need to take a 20-second break every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away. This will minimize your eyes’ discomfort and let them get their needed breaks.
2. Eat Healthy and Get A Little Exercise
Your digital wellbeing directly influences your physical health and vice versa. Thus, you need to maintain a healthy diet for your body’s needs. However, being stuck on your office chair or working remotely from your comfortable bed without any exercise will subject you to the risk of unhealthy weight gains even if you eat healthily. So, it’s equally important for you to get some occasional exercise whenever you could.
3. Get Proper Sleep
One of the most important tips here is the importance of getting proper sleep. Too much exposure to your phone or computer screen could cause insomnia and mess up your sleep schedule. Thus, you need to try turning off your notifications and disconnecting yourself from your phone or computer before bed and focus on getting your much-needed 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
4. Enjoy Offline Experience
Last, but not least, do not get too attached to the digital tools that you forgot that life outside the screen exist. Take breaks from the online and spend some time enjoying the real world. Go and meet your friends or family or just take a relaxing stroll around where you stay. A well-balanced offline-online life is well-balanced digital wellbeing.
Conclusion: Take A Break Away From Keyboard and Consult When Needed
Whether you are an office worker, a remote worker, a digital nomad, or just an average citizen living your daily life, anyone who constantly uses digital technology should be aware of the importance of maintaining their digital wellbeing.
Indeed, a lack of digital wellbeing may not be fatal. However, bad digital habits could accumulate and negatively influence your physical and mental health if left unchecked.
Ultimately, your best solution to this problem is by fixing your digital habits towards habits that improve your digital wellbeing. These habits include taking regular breaks, keeping your body healthy, getting enough sleep, and balancing your life offline and online.
However, if you have difficulties in managing your digital wellbeing or simply want suggestions on how to improve your health, you should try getting a consultation with a general practitioner.
Here at Prime Plus Medical, we offer top-quality general practice facilities to ensure the right comprehensive health care for you and your family. From getting check-ups to health advice, our team of English-speaking doctors is always ready to become your comfortable health care solution in Canggu 24/7.
If you are interested in our services, please do not hesitate to give us a call at +(62)361 474 0055 or email us at [email protected]!