The damaging effects that screen time has on individuals has been thoroughly researched and well documented. However, when studies recommend to limit screen time, they are generally referring to recreational screen time. So where does necessary (work/school-related) screen time fit into the equation?
Surely our bodies suffer the same health issues whether or not we are logged in for pleasure or business. So it is interesting to me that with the explosion of online education, no one really speaks about the health concerns associated with this kind of screen time. I recognize that online courses are more involved than matching various candies in a row, however, our bodies are surely suffering the same health effects. Sedentary lifestyle, increased risk of obesity, heart attack, stroke, decreased vision, poor concentration, brain atrophy, and the list goes on… (As I sit in front of the computer typing this, I can feel my pulse rate rising with unease).
Universities need to keep up with the times and offer online learning, I get it. Learners want convenience, flexibility, and online courses offer all this and more. Online learning also saves the learner and the school money (no room booking fees, resources available online, etc.). But has anyone really considered the costs… the ones we cannot put a monetary value on…?
To read about the damaging effects of screen time on the brain, click here.
“Taken together, [studies show] internet addiction is associated with structural and functional changes in brain regions involving emotional processing, executive attention, decision making, and cognitive control.” –research authors summarizing neuro-imaging findings in internet and gaming addiction”
(Lin & Zhou et al, 2012)