In an increasingly technology driven society it has become important to unplug and take time off of our mobile devices. Every day our professional drivers and those across the industry depend on technology to perform their job. Technology in itself is not a bad thing. It allows us to have 24/7 access to information and helps us stay connected to our families when we are unable to be there physically. The problem is how much and often we use it.
According to the Huffington Post, 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. Another study found that mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes. There are proven benefits to taking time off and “unplugging” from our phones and other electronic devices.
Increased quality of sleep
Research suggests that the blue light from our computer, phone and tablet screens makes it difficult for our bodies to fall asleep due to reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the “sleep hormone” and reduced levels can have an impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep. They suggest that the best practice is to disconnect before bed, rather than falling asleep looking at our phones.
Improved time management skills
How many of us have spent hours watching TV or searching the internet without realizing it? Whenever we are not glued to our devices, we are able to focus 100% of our attention on the task at hand. Take your 10 hour break for example. In those 10 short hours you might want to eat a quick bite, do laundry, get up and stretch since you’ve been sitting so long, call a friend or FaceTime your family and you can’t forget you will also need to get some sleep so you’re ready to drive after your break is up. If you spend two hours watching a movie instead of doing more important things then something on your list is going to suffer. Setting boundaries on the amount of time you spend on your device will help you prioritize what you need to get done and help you maximize the time you have available.
Improved health and posture
Unfortunately, professional drivers do not a have the luxury to stop frequently and get out to stretch. This means that is even more important to utilize the opportunities to get out and be active. Prolonged sitting can lead to posture problems, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and more. It is good for your body and mind to put the phone down and get some fresh air. Whether it’s choosing a parking spot further away so you have longer to walk or even walking around your truck a few times, it is important to have some type of physical activity as a part of your daily routine. While technology can assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle the trick is to recognize when it is actually helping and when it is hurting.
Just like with anything, moderation is the key! Try giving yourself 30 minutes to wind down from the day technology-free. Reading a book or doing yoga before bed can help increase the quality of your sleep and even help you fall asleep faster.