The Silent Struggle: How Screens Impact Our Breathing and Well-being at Work

September 6, 2023
The Silent Struggle: How Screens Impact Our Breathing and Well-being at Work

In today's fast-paced digital world, our screens have become an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it's work, social media, or entertainment, our constant interaction with screens has a profound impact on our physical and mental health. One commonly overlooked consequence of this screen-centric lifestyle is screen apnea. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of screen apnea and provide you with practical tips to address it. We will also introduce you to how Emotai, a groundbreaking solution that combines cutting-edge neurotechnology and AI tools to empower individuals to prioritize their well-being and effectively combat burnout in the workplace, can help you with screen apnea!

What is screen apnea?

Screen apnea, first identified by Linda Stone, a former Microsoft executive, refers to the shallow and almost imperceptible breathing that occurs when we are engrossed in our screens. Studies have shown that around 80% of individuals experience altered breathing patterns while checking emails or engaging in tasks on their screens. The constant bombardment of notifications, texts, and emails demands our attention, causing our bodies to respond with heightened stress levels and shallower breathing.

Why do we have a stress response?

When we interact with digital stimuli, our bodies perceive them as potential threats, triggering a stress response. Our nervous system kicks into action, evaluating whether these stimuli are harmful. This mental effort results in physiological changes, including shallow breathing. Just like a stalking cat that freezes and breathes shallowly before attacking, our bodies react similarly when we receive unexpected messages on our screens.

Are there any long-term consequences?

When reflexes like shallow breathing are triggered repeatedly throughout the day, our nervous system remains in a chronic state of threat. Prolonged periods of shallow breathing can lead to exhaustion, even in seemingly non-stressful work environments. Additionally, the sedentary nature of screen time further exacerbates the issue. Individuals with high-stress jobs may find themselves trapped in a cycle of long hours in front of screens, lacking exercise, and adequate sleep.

Tips for Addressing Screen Apnea:

  1. Set Up Breath Reminders: In the midst of a busy workday, it's easy to forget about our breathing. Utilize gentle alerts throughout the day to remind yourself to check your breathing patterns. Emotai's AI-powered breath reminder feature can be a valuable tool in this regard.
  2. Check Your Breathing: Be mindful of whether you are breathing through your mouth, as this is an indicator of shallow breathing. Take a moment to focus on your breath and consciously switch to diaphragmatic breathing, which promotes deep and relaxed breaths. EMOTAI can teach you how to leverage diaphragmatic breathing to boost your well-being.
  3. Try Sighing: If you catch yourself breathing shallowly or not breathing at all, try sighing audibly. Sighing helps reset your breathing pattern and allows for deeper inhalation and exhalation.
  4. Consider Using Larger Screens: Using larger screens can reduce mental strain and decrease the cognitive load associated with smaller screens. The reduced strain can result in improved breathing patterns and a more relaxed overall experience.
  5. Make Breaks Count: Use your breaks as an opportunity to step away from screens and engage in activities that promote relaxation and balance. Listen to calming music, take a walk in nature, or try a guided meditation session. Emotai offers a range of mindfulness exercises and relaxation techniques tailored to your needs.

Emotai: A Premier Solution for Well-being:

In the midst of the challenges posed by screen apnea, Emotai provides a comprehensive solution that can significantly enhance the lives of employees. By leveraging cutting-edge neurotechnology and AI tools specifically designed for mental health, Emotai empowers individuals to effectively combat burnout and prioritize their well-being. In an age of digital distractions, Emotai stands out as a trusted ally, helping employees find balance and maintain optimal mental wellness.

Incorporating Emotai's Solutions:

Integrating Emotai's innovative solutions into the workplace can help employees manage stress, improve their breathing patterns, and foster a healthier work environment. Emotai's tailored programs, designed to address screen-induced challenges, align with Linda Stone's belief: what's good for people is indeed good for business.

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