Screen time has increased in recent years after the development of smartphones and during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: Pexels)
New Delhi: In today’s fast-paced digital age, we are immersed in screens for a significant part of our day. Our screen time is soaring from smartphones to tablets to computers and TVs. While the benefits of technology are undeniable, recent studies suggest a potential link between excessive screen time and kidney health issues. Prolonged exposure to screens may contribute to sedentary behaviors and unhealthy lifestyle choices, both of which can impact the kidneys.
Dr Prakash Chandra Shetty, Urologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Powai, Mumbai, said, “The kidneys, often overlooked in discussions about screen time, play a vital role in maintaining internal balance by filtering waste and excess fluids from the blood.”
On the other hand, the sedentary behavior linked to excessive time spent on screens raises questions about its overall effects on general health. Individuals who spend a lot of time in screens typically have a less active life, which raises the risk of obesity which is a major factor in the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
How does blue light affect kidney health?
The blue light emitted by screens is another factor under scrutiny. This emitted light causes disturbing sleep patterns, especially in kids and adults which can result in kidney-related difficulties among other health issues. Irregular sleep can disrupt the circadian cycle which can impact the kidney’s capacity to control good pressure and hydration levels of the body.
The expert added, “Psychological implications also come into play. Excessive screen time and that also due to social media scrolling can increase stress level hormones among individuals. Kidney illness and chronic issues emphasize the holistic understanding of the effect of screen overload on both mental and physical health.”
Balance is required to mitigate potential risks
If we talk about the impact of screens on children, however, screens are not inherently harmful. Educational content and interactive platforms can be valuable tools for cognitive development. “Striking a balance that encourages technological engagement while prioritizing overall well-being is essential. Parents and caregivers play a crucial role in mitigating potential risks,” said Dr Shetty.
Encouraging outdoor activities, setting screen time limits, and fostering open communication about the importance of a healthy lifestyle are key steps in safeguarding children’s kidney health.
In conclusion, the intricate relationship between excessive screen time and kidney health in individuals demands a closer look. As screens become omnipresent in modern life, understanding and addressing potential consequences on our health is imperative. By cultivating a mindful approach to screen time, we can ensure that the digital age enhances, rather than compromises, the well-being of the present and next generation.