• Jenny Bater-Sinclair - Company Director

Too much screen time symptoms and their effects

Updated: Aug 8


Too much screen time symptoms, recommended screen time for teenager, average screen time for adults

We're going to cover all your questions; What's the effects of too much screen time symptoms? What's the the recommended screen time for teenager? What's the average screen time for adults? We'll answer all those and more here in this blog. We'll give you our version of some solutions and ideas to limit certain types of screen time, stop procrastinating and in turn, get active. This is not a point-the-finger-and-judge article, it's simply a resource of facts, stats and ideas to help you make your own decisions on screen time. We all lead very different lives, it would be unfair of anyone to tell you what's right and wrong, so we certainly won't be.


We are going to answer some of the following popular questions about screen time too, based on research, statistics and speaking to real people, our members, and give you our take on them:

  • What's the recommended screen time for children?

  • What to look out for the regarding too much screen time symptoms?

  • What are the negative effects of screen time adults suffer?

  • What are the 10 reasons why screen time is bad?

  • What are the positive effects of screen time?

  • What's the recommended screen time for teenager?

  • What is screen time on iPhone?

  • What is the average screen time for adults statistically?

  • What are the effects of too much screen time for adults?

  • What's the recommended screen time for 13 year old? Or other ages?

  • What's the best apps to limit screen time iOS?

Not only will we answer your questions, we'll give you helpful guidance on ways to stay focused, guides on how to check screen time on iOS and even limit it, and recommend books, gurus and other external sources of help we've found.


We are of course a street dance school, so this blog post wouldn't be a true Hip Hop Pop post without some dancing! We've created a new online concept video especially for the subject and we've suitably named it 'Screen Time'. You can find more information on the video and the video itself at the bottom of this blog post.


What sparked the idea for this post about 'Screen Time"?


The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown had placed enormous focus on how we use our smart devices. The heaviest shift in reasons for use include education, staying in touch with loved ones and using them as a 'supposed' remedy to boredom.

As a dance company we've noticed a real divide in motivation for using our live-streamed-services compared to pre-lockdown in-studio sessions and a big shift-up in parents concern for their children's mental wellbeing

These noticeable changes drew us to look at the subject of screen time and associated motivation and mental health in greater detail, we are sharing our finding with you in this post.


What is Screen Time?

What is screen time too much screen time symptoms, recommended screen time for teenager, average screen time for adults

Screen time is the time spent using devices with display screens, such as smart phones, computers, TV and video game consoles. Any time your attention is placed on such devices you're clocking up screen time.


Studies show how screen time can directly impact children's development, physical and mental health. These effects are proven to directly correlate to the content, context and length of exposure on these devices. We're also going to look at the effects of too much screen time for adults. However, screen time can be utilised for positive rewards too, contrary to popular opinion, there are positive effects of screen time for children, and positive effects of screen time for adults too. There are many conflicting opinions all over the net, here's our take on it all, let's look at both sides of that coin:


First let's look at our why screen time is perceived to be bad, including the negative effects of screen time adults and kids should consider


Top 10 reasons why screen time is bad:


1. Screen time can be bad for your physical health

2. Your sleep is affected

3. It weakens communication skills

4. Screen time can cause inattention in later life

5. Screen time can cause poor memory

6. Screen time is linked to poor self esteem and depression

7. Too much screen time can cause computer vision syndrome

8. Procrastination and lack of productivity

9. Screen time can equal anti-social behaviour

10. Screen time can change to shape of your brains cortex


Read on for further detail...


1. Screen Time can be bad for your physical health

We're saying 'can be', because we're not talking here about Zoom dance classes, or Instagram live Yoga sessions, we're talking stationary device uses; watching the TV, playing a video game, scrolling the gram, these are sedentary activities and require next to no physical exertion. This directly affects fitness levels and in turn puts your body at more risk of fitness related illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, therefore number 1 on our list is one of the most detrimental negative effects of screen time adults and kids alike may suffer in our opinion.


2. Your sleep is affected

Using your phone before you go to bed or in bed means not only have you wasted valuable sleep time scrolling, but it statistically takes 10 minutes longer to get off to sleep after looking at a light emitting screen such as your phone. Not only that, it messes with your Circadian Rhythm - The cycle that tells the body when to sleep, by suppressing the release of melatonin that controls that Circadian Rhythm.


3. It weakens communication and social skills

'Viewer Passivity' is a natural result of most screen time uses. It's one of the key drivers behind the weakened communication and social skills. 'Viewer passivity' is where images and suggestions are implanted into our minds without the need for our participation such as watching TV, which inhibits and suppressed our natural capability to communicate. Even background TV reduces interaction:

A recent study found parents say about 200 words or less to their children in an hour if the TV is on compared to the 1000 words an hour if the TV is off. - Mindd Foundation

4. Screen time can cause Inattention in later life

Studies show that if young children are exposed to rapid image changes such as those on most TV shows today, they would most likely find real-time events in ordinary life, such as a teacher discussing subjects in front of them, dull, slow, or boring. This triggers them to talk and disturb their classmates for example. The stimulation from rapid images pre-conditions the mind to expect high levels of stimulation in every day life interactions, thus causing inattention.


5. Screen time can cause poor memory and linguistic delays in young children

Research indicates that excessive screen time is associated with linguistic delays and poor memory performance in young children. Young children learn key communication skills by watching and emulating the facial expressions, body movements and tone of voice of people. Watching people on TV just doesn’t have the same impact, they need real life lessons in communication simply by watching us adults communicate. Now the questions: 'what's the recommended screen time for children' or 'what's the recommended screen time for adults', feel redundant when you consider them in the context of these effects here in point 5 of our 'top ten reasons why screen time is bad' list. How much time do we spend not communicating at all, and therefore not teaching? What a responsibility we're not appreciating. Food for thought.


6. Screen time is linked to low self-esteem and depression

Professors at San Diego State University discovered that after only one hour of screen time daily, children and teens begin to have less curiosity, lower self-control, less emotional stability and a greater inability to finish tasks.

"Adolescents who spend more than seven hours a day on screens were twice as likely as those spending one hour to have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression"

That's the science side of it, but let's face it we've all been there, when you're scrolling social media and you come across a post that makes you angry, a post that makes you sad, or a post that makes you feel like you're not good enough or your life is inferior. This is toxic to our mental wellbeing.


When a member of our dance crew was feeling the effects of social media on her mental health, she began a new profile, only following pages and accounts full on positivity, inspiration and self-love promoting posts, what a brilliant way to turn the negative effects of too much screen time for adults into some positive effects of screen time.


I follow entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, the 27 year old CEO of Social Chain and public speaker on all things business and mental wellness (check out his 2021 book here). He tweeted this back in January and it really resonated with me, does it you?

steven bartlett too much screen time symptoms, recommended screen time for teenager, average screen time for adults

Note: As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases on this page


7. Too much screen time can cause Computer Vision Syndrome

Staring into a screen for extended periods of time can cause computer vision syndrome.” Some classic too much screen time symptoms: Strained, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Poor posture can also cause neck and shoulder pain. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer or other display device for protracted, uninterrupted periods of time and the eye muscles being unable to recover from the strain due to a lack of adequate sleep.


8. Procrastination and lack of productivity

This one I'm sure nearly all of us can resonate with. Procrastinating is the act of delaying, postponing or avoiding an action, therefore leading to lack of productivity in the task or action you was 'supposed' to be doing. I can speak about this one personally. I have an adventurous to-do list each day, I'll list tasks in order of importance / deadline. However that order falls apart when I hit the 'big-tasks', naturally I procrastinate. I grab my phone, check my social media notifications, check my emails, hell, I might even pop onto Spotify and start making class playlists - anything to subconsciously avoid the big task. What's my go to tool of procrastination? My phone, hours can pass procrastinating staring at the wrong screen. Do you find the same happens to you?


Later in this blog we'll look at what is screen time on iPhone? What are the best apps to limit screen time iOS? We'll look at these tools to give you practical ways to help reduce procrastination!


9. Screen time can equal anti-social behaviour

When I say anti-social behaviour, I don't mean hanging on street corners, causing havoc, I mean the really important stuff; time, time with friends and family. I'm sure many of us can recall a time we had a family meal and at some point grabbed our phone to check for social media notifications, a work email, and lost time scrolling, when we should be spending that time fully engaging with our loved ones.


This one, I personally feel, is one of saddest effects of too much screen time for adults. Don't look back and regret! If I could go back in time, I'd put my phone away every time I visited my mum, as that's time I no longer get with her, I can't get that back. I don't want to lose time with anyone else to a screen.


10. Screen time could change shape of your brains cortex

A new and ongoing study supported by the NIH found that some pre-teens who clocked over seven hours a day on screens had differences in parts of their brains compared to kids who spent less time on screens.

The Cortex is the region responsible for processing information from our five senses.

Usually, our cortex gets thinner as we mature. But these kids had thinner cortices earlier than other kids who spent less time on screens. Scientists aren't sure what this could mean for how the kids learn and behave later in life. But the same data also showed that kids who spent more than 2 hours a day on screens scored lower on thinking and language skill tests

(This is an exact extract from the article).


Point 10 here on our top 10 reasons why screen time is bad list, really hits home the fact that most of the points in this list are not visually noticeable effects immediately or even if at all, making them harder to spot and address. Point ten here is a visual effect, yet as it's inside our body we still can't 'see it', again how do we notice and address?


10 reasons why screen time is bad summary:


I know personally, most of these points resonate with me and my own experiences or at least the concerns and values I'm on board with. How about you? Has it changed the way you feel about screen time compared to before you started to read point 1 on our top ten reasons why screen time is bad list? The physical and mental effects on us and our loved ones listed above make for good motivation to make a screen time change.


Of course it's not all negative, there's plenty of positive effects of screen time too, here's our


Top 5 positive effects of screen time:


1. It's an amazing tool for communication

2. There are Healthful behaviour apps

3. Active rather than passive screen time can be good for physic