Adopting a healthy digital diet involves spending time away from connected electronic devices, like your smartphone. It doesn’t mean avoiding these devices altogether – we want you to benefit from all that your phone and the digital world has to offer. But it might be useful to set boundaries for when and how you use devices, so you can balance their use with other aspects of your life.
Being continuously connected to devices can undermine your mental and physical wellbeing. Constant use of your smartphone can cause disruptions to your day, increase your workload and out of hours work, and lead to sleep deprivation and poor posture, for instance. Understanding and managing these risks can help you build resilience and ultimately protect your health and wellbeing.
Excessive use can cause repetitive strain injury (RSI), ‘text neck’ and eye strain. If you need to be connected, try to use your laptop, ideally at a proper workstation
The call quality will be better, it avoids maintaining an uncomfortable posture, and it removes any concerns about having your phone pressed against your head1
The ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode limits interruptions, helping you to take control of your time, and can be configured and scheduled to suit your needs (‘Settings’ > ‘Do Not Disturb’2)
Phone light can disrupt your ability to fall asleep and make you feel hungry. ‘Night Shift’ mode softens the screen colour at specified times of day (‘Settings’ > ‘Display & Brightness’ > ‘Night Shift’2)
‘Airplane Mode’ blocks all communication to help you get an undisturbed sleep (‘Settings’ > ‘Airplane Mode’2)
Fully disconnecting helps you focus on your personal life and can contribute to your resilience. If you need access to personal emails, then you can temporarily hide your work inbox (‘Mail’ > click back button to ‘Mailboxes’ > ‘Edit’ > deselect your work inbox). Remember to unhide it once back at work
1. The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently classifies smartphone use as “possibly carcinogenic” due to inconclusive evidence about their impacts
2. You can also switch this on or off quickly from the ‘Control Centre’ by swiping up from the bottom of your phone’s screen
Chief Sustainability Officer, PwC United Kingdom