20-20-20 Rule and other tips for taking Screen Breaks for Students

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Screen Breaks for students 20-20-20 rule
Image Credits: Homeland Security

With everything being online, students end up working on laptops and tablets for long periods of time. Their eyes get strained and it could affect their memory and attention span.

Spending nonstop time on projects and online assignments is vital for a student to succeed, but so is taking breaks. Students need to create planned minutes to relax and reboot throughout the day. Studies have shown that taking breaks can actually help students become more optimistic, creative, and fruitful.

If the student knows that they might get frequent breaks and some control on their focus, they might even be excited to work willingly.

Here are 5 ways to creatively take those screen breaks.

The 20-20-20 rule

We must keep in mind that screen breaks have different effects on memory, productivity, and attention on students. Frequencies and lengths may vary from student to student. One child might want to power through until they need a break while others might need a timer so that they can distribute their attention already. While the 20-20-20 rule is a helpful and easy-to-remember guide to work breaks into a schedule, plus it reduces the strain on their eyes that comes from extended screen time.

Every 20 minutes, the student should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Instead of just turning away from the computer, have the student get up and move around at this interval. It’ll encourage their interest and keep them motivated.

  • Chair Yoga

This is a sure shot way for the body and eye muscles to relax. There are several exercises online that can be taught to students to perform on their chairs during their screen breaks. Chair yoga helps to stretch and unwind with common exercises like neck rotation, forward bends and twists.

  • Talk to people

 Yes, talking to friends, colleagues, and family can actually help a person relax their mind and divert usefully. They’re a great source of news or small talk, which holds a person’s attention to ensure that they don’t look at their screen too hard. Encourage a student to start a conversation every time it’s time for a break.

  • Eat Right

When the brain gets tired, the stomach secretes a hormone called ghrelin that signals that the body is tired and is in need of a recharge. To satiate that hunger, people could opt for food that ends up depleting them even further. Therefore, to keep your brain working at top performance, choose a snack on your break that includes a higher level of protein, such as a chicken, fish, nuts or some form of protein supplement. But remember to keep your helpings small to decrease the risks of a post-snack crash.

  • Take a water break

 Getting up from the seat to drink a glass of water or to make a cup of coffee or tea is always a good technique to schedule a break. It’s a useful way to switch off from the screen briefly and also replenish your fluids.

It’s important to detox from the computer screens. If it’s done properly, these breaks could reduce mental fatigue, enhance brain function and creativity, and occupy a person with the task for long periods of time. The more breaks we take, the better we work.