A recent study by a company in the United States us rather alarming. In fact, an average American adult would spend around 44 years behind the screens, or two-thirds of their life! This study reminds us that spending so much time on these devices can have many health consequences.
Too much time in front of the screens
First, be aware that the study discussed in this article is to be taken with tweezers. Mentioned in an article in the New York Post on June 3, 2020, it was conducted in the United States by Vision Direct, a British company specializing in the sale of contact lenses. After interviewing 2,000 people in this country, Vision Direct estimated the time spent in front of screens by an average American adult at 44 years. It is 6,259 hours a year, for a total of 382,652 hours over the average lifespan of an adult 60.7 years of age. In other words, continuing at this rate, the average American adult would spend almost two-thirds of his life in front of a screen! In 2019, another study by the Nielsen Institute already showed that fifty-plus year-olds spent more than 12 hours a day there.
The study found that Americans over the age of 50 spent an average of just over ten hours a day in front of screens. Younger people surprisingly spend less time on it.
According to the survey, here is the detail for a day: 5 hours in front of the computer, 4:33 hours on the smartphone, 4:30 hours in front of the television, 3:12 hours on video games. In total, Americans would spend 17 hours a day in front of the screens! Vision Direct even mentions 19 hours a day during confinement. However, these figures seem exaggerated since many people have jobs. On the other hand, it is questionable whether a sample of 2,000 people is sufficient.
Mental and physical health at stake
Regardless of the nature of the survey, it is an opportunity to remember that many people spend too much time on the screens. However, this can have consequences on mental health and eyesight. In October 2019, a British doctor spoke of a link between mental health problems and the time spent on screens. In addition, the American National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated in 2018 that prolonged exposure over time could modify the brains of children. In April 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised against exposing children under the age of 2 to screens.
Finally, how can we evoke the time spent on screens and not evoke blue light? Several studies have in the past identified blue light as an endocrine disruptor, notably altering the quality of sleep. In 2018, Spanish researchers explained how blue light an accelerator of blindness can be. According to the study, it is a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease of the retina that usually affects people between the ages of 50 and 60.
Hugues Louissaint is an entrepreneur and writer, living in the US for over a decade. He has launched successful products such the Marabou Coffee brand, which has been highly successful in Florida. He has also been a writer for more than 5 years focusing on science, technology, and health. He writes part-time for the Scientific Origin and provides valuable input on a wide range of subjects.