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Prevent Cybersickness on Laptops with These Tricks!

December 12

Introduction

If you are someone whose screen time is high, there is a high possibility that you have experienced cybersickness. Cybersickness is the term used to explain nausea or light-headedness felt when a person spends continuous hours on a screen. It is like motion sickness - when people travel too fast or are on boats, amusement rides, or any other disorienting surface, they might feel dizzy and nauseous. The same goes for cybersickness but with digital screens. We all know motion sickness, but what is this phenomenon ‘cybersickness’? Are you eager to know more about cybersickness and how to prevent cybersickness on laptop? Read ahead!

What is Cybersickness and Why it Happens

Ever felt dizzy or disoriented when you have been on your phone for a long time? If your answer is yes, then you have had a dose of cybersickness. Cybersickness comes with too many hours of screen time, be it on a single screen or multiple screens. Specifically, cybersickness occurs when you have been scrolling the screen for a long time, or when you are in a meeting where the screen keeps moving.

In technical terms, cybersickness occurs “when your brain receives messages that you're moving—for instance, by a flashing screen—when you are, in fact, still," says Gillian Isaacs Russell, a psychotherapist in Colo. 

Why do you get Cybersickness on Laptop?

Before we move on to know how to prevent cybersickness on laptops, let us understand what causes it. In simple terms, cybersickness happens because of sensory conflict. It is a battle between your brain and your body - while you are stationary, your brain perceives, because of some movements, that you are moving and hence causes mixed signals.

This is also called cognitive dissonance. Animated graphics, video games, constant movement on the screen, and even scrolling through a feed can contribute to cybersickness.

Cybersickness - Here are Some Symptoms

Curious to know if you have cybersickness? Check the symptoms we have listed below to know.

Dizziness

Feeling disoriented and tired after looking at your laptop for long hours is a telling sign of cybersickness. Watching animated graphics or similar constant movements on your screen meddles with your perception of movement and makes you dizzy.

Nausea

Often, nausea turns out to be the first symptom of cybersickness. If you have ever felt nauseous or like your stomach feels funny when you are using your laptop for a long time, chances are high that it might be cybersickness.

Headache

Undoubtedly, prolonged exposure to any screen will cause a headache. Also, sitting in the same position contributes to neck and shoulder strain, which will also add up to a headache.

Eye Strain

Using electronic devices for a long time and staring at a screen can strain your eyes. This leads to blurred vision, irritation, dryness, and even worse conditions in a prolonged state.

How to Prevent Cybersickness on Laptop - Some Helpful Tips

Cybersickness can be prevented easily, but it all starts with you limiting your screen time, be it for work or for other purposes. Here are a few other effective tips and tricks that can help you escape the symptoms of cybersickness.

Stand up and Take a Break

As cybersickness is caused by the lag between your brain and your senses, it is critical to remind your body about its surroundings. When you have a long day of work on your laptop, take breaks often and go on a walk around. You can also look out of a window at a fixed point, preferably a horizon - this will help you shake off dizziness and relax your brain for a moment.

20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule is simple: when you are using a screen, for every 20 minutes take a 20-second break, and stare at an object 20 feet away. This exercise is specifically used to lower eye strain. You can also use this time to lubricate your eyes to keep irritation at bay.

Audio over Video when Possible

If it is possible, opt for audio presentations, meetings, and books, instead of video ones. This will reduce strain on your eyes. You can also opt to optimize your screen in a way that it has lower blue light settings and low contrast coloring. 

Chew your Favorite Gum

It is believed that chewing gum can snap you back to reality, and hence break you out of the symptoms of cybersickness. The repetitive motion of chewing gum helps you focus on the task at hand and gives you a break from cognitive dissonance.

Relax and Practice Breathing Exercises 

If you want to know how to prevent cybersickness on laptop, here is the simplest way:  practice breathing exercises. Taking a few deep breaths helps in releasing the stress in your muscles and makes you feel relaxed. Deep breaths also help in clearing fogginess and relieve you from feeling light-headed.

The Future of Digital Health: Strategies to Combat Cybersickness

In the fast-evolving digital age, cybersickness is becoming a common issue. But the future of digital health looks promising with new strategies emerging to combat this modern problem. Here's a glimpse into what we can expect in the future for managing cybersickness.

Firstly, technology itself is adapting. Future devices are expected to have built-in features that reduce the risks of cybersickness. We're talking about screens with adjustable blue light filters and software that minimizes rapid visual movements, which are major triggers for cybersickness.

Another key area is personalized digital health. With advancements in AI and machine learning, apps and devices could monitor our screen time and warn us when it's time to take a break. These smart systems could also recommend personalized exercises to reduce eye strain and prevent symptoms of cybersickness.

The use of virtual reality (VR) for health is on the rise, and with it, VR therapies to treat cybersickness. These therapies might involve exposure to virtual environments under controlled settings, helping our bodies gradually adapt to digital stimuli without experiencing discomfort.

Furthermore, there's a growing emphasis on public awareness and education. As we become more knowledgeable about digital health, we can adopt healthier habits, like taking regular screen breaks and practicing eye relaxation techniques.

Therefore, the future of digital health holds exciting prospects for managing cybersickness. Through a combination of tech advancements, personalized health strategies, therapeutic interventions, and increased awareness, we can look forward to a digitally connected world that's also comfortable and healthy for our bodies.

The Bottom Line 

In the era where everything is digital, screens and prolonged screen time are unavoidable. But you can still take preventive measures to avoid cybersickness and keep yourself healthy and relaxed. Follow these steps to prevent cybersickness and lead a happy and healthy life!

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