Since the creation of the television, parents have warned children that sitting too close to the screen or watching too much will harm their eyesight. Yet, poor eyesight is not the only negative side effect of staring at TV, and now computer, tablet and cellphone, screens. Jason Halpern says that a recent study has proven that exposure to brightly lit screens at nighttime and lengthy exposure during the day or night causes a severe enough disruption to the body’s natural clock to interfere with sleep patterns and long-term health.
University of Connecticut cancer epidemiologist Richard Stevens has published the results of a new study about this issue in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Stevens focused on the most severe results of light exposure and found that there’s a correlation between it and increased depression, obesity and cancers. He noted that the more people use lighted screens the more sedentary they became and, as almost everyone in the medical community agrees, a sedentary lifestyle shortens a person’s lifespan by several years by promoting inactivity and poor dietary choices. Stevens also noted that the heated materials in lit screens expose people to more toxic chemicals on a daily basis. Lastly, he noted that every cell in the body relies on the day/night light reactions that occur in cells in the retina to be calibrated properly for good health. Without natural rhythms, human hormones also become imbalanced.