Screentime tips

Posted in , on April 9, 2020

Arlington ISD Reminds You Stay Healthy Online

Now that school is online, students are spending more time in front of screens than ever. But too much screen time, especially without breaks, can be unhealthy.

Protect yourself from the dangers of too much screen time. Follow the tips below to stay healthy and perform at your best.

“The better we all take care of our health now, the better we will be able to return to our normal activities when the situation begins to return to normal,” said Annette Minnerly, Arlington ISD health services coordinator.

Take regular breaks

Your body needs regular breaks from sitting and staring at computers, tablets and phones. Sitting too much is not good for you and can have negative effects on your body (Read more). Take breaks every 30 minutes to keep your body and mind fresh.

Give your eyes a break

Your eyes need regular breaks, too. Too much screen time strains your eyes, making them tired and dry. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to protect your eyes. Every 20 minutes, give your eyes a 20 second break by looking at something 20 feet away from your screen. (More tips for your eyes.)

Drink plenty of water

Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. That’s water – not soft drinks or sweet tea! Drinking enough water is crucial for your body to stay healthy. Keep a glass or bottle of water with you all the time while you do your schoolwork online. If you don’t drink enough, you can get headaches and have a hard time concentrating on your schoolwork. (Learn more.)

P.S.  One of the good things about going to school online – you don’t have to ask your teacher to go to the bathroom! So, drink a lot!

Get sunshine

Use some of the breaks you take from your schoolwork to go outside. Sunlight prompts your brain to make serotonin, which helps improve your mood. Sunlight also triggers your skin to produce vitamin D, which has many health benefits for your body.

Dr. Vuong Dao, a pediatrician in Arlington with Cook Children’s, said, “Get at least 15 minutes of sunlight daily if possible.”

Dao suggests going on walks with your family in the neighborhood or creating art outside with sidewalk chalk.

Exercise

It’s always important to exercise, but it’s even more important now that you’re are spending so much time sitting in front of a computer.

“Take 30 minutes a day to exercise,” said Dao.

He suggests playing tag with your family, riding a bike, or doing jumping jacks and pushups. Whatever it is, move around and have fun. Choose an activity you like to do and stick to it.

If you’re looking for a fun way to exercise, join us for Workout Wednesdays. Every week during the closure, Duff Elementary physical education teacher Matt Bostick will show you short workout videos that he does with his students. The exercises are designed so you can do them in your living room, driveway or backyard.

BONUS: A Tip for Parents

Dr. Dao tells parents, “Have dinner as a family together without distractions (no electronics for everyone). This will keep communication lines open and allow your children to feel comfortable talking about difficult subjects.”

It’s probably going to take a little time to get used to going to school online, but it can be a great experience and you can do your best if you remember to take care of yourself and stay healthy. Follow these tips and remember that sometimes the best way to stay healthy online is to go offline and take a break.

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