The impact of screens on health

Electronic devices have an undeniable appeal for adults... and children! What is the impact of screen time on health?


The time spent in front of screens is a topic that concerns everyone at a time when each household has at least seven “screens” on average. In fact, we are seeing a proliferation of electronic goods such as cellular phones, tablets, laptops, video game consoles and televisions.

It is important to know that the impact on physical and mental health is primarily linked to the amount of time spent on screens. However, the type of content consulted and even the time of day also have a role to play.




The impact of screens has been shown in various sleep studies. Results show that the longer the screen time, the shorter the duration of sleep, the poorer its quality and the harder it is to fall asleep. Additionally, heavy users feel more tired during the day.

Screens produce a type of wavelength called blue light, which is what negatively affects sleep. It prevents the normal secretion of a hormone called melatonin, which is responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. Additionally, when people leave their devices on during the night, their sleep may be disrupted by notifications that produce light or sounds. 

To promote better sleep, avoid exposure to light from screens at least two hours before you go to bed and close all of your devices during the night.


Sitting in front of TV, playing video games or navigating the Web on your smartphone from your couch are all sedentary activities that promote weight gain in adults and children.

To avoid this, you can combine practicality with fun by exercising while you watch your favourite television series. You can also set up a stand-sit workstation. In fact, why not play video games as a family by incorporating movement or dance? Or even better, choose outdoor activities that will allow you to stay active and get some fresh air.


Overuse of screens (and reading too close in general) can also affect eye health. Among other things, it could contribute to the rapid evolution of myopia (or nearsightedness).




Screen use does not promote vitality. Additionally, since it compromises sleep quality, it can also cause fatigue, behavioural changes, and decreased performance. This is another reason to limit its general use in the evening!


Evidence from studies shows that too much screen time can affect mental health in both adults and children, making them more prone to anxiety and depression, among other things.


Too much screen time can affect attention span and concentration in both adults and children. In fact, it does not help small developing minds to learn to do one thing at a time and to undertake a task or an activity.


For some children, it has also been suggested that overexposure to screens can lead to certain difficulties, such as:

  • delayed language development
  • learning disabilities
  • compromised academic performance
  • poor communication and relational skills
  • impaired motor skills
  • etc.

Here are a few additional recommendations for healthy screen use:

  • Avoid leaving the television on in the background.
  • Remember that screen use should be avoided in children under the age of two.
  • Limit screen time for young children between the ages of two and five to an hour a day.
  • For older children and adults, it is recommended to limit screen time to two hours a day.
  • You can occasionally play games with your child on a tablet, but be careful not to use technology as a babysitter... or worse, let your child be raised by it!
  • Establish rules for the use of technology in your home that everyone should follow... including you!
  • If you have to use a screen for work, be sure to take regular breaks. Ideally, you should move away from your screen and focus your gaze and attention on something else for several minutes. Your brain and eyes need this downtime.
  • Once you have finished working, consider entertaining yourself in ways that don’t involve screens as often as possible.

Remember that you are a role model for your child. If they see you constantly in front of a screen, they are likely to do the same. Using technology responsibly in today’s world is essential!


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The impact of screens on health

Electronic devices have an undeniable appeal for adults... and children! What is the impact of screen time on health?
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