I want to share with you a topic called screen apnea, (email apnea or Zoom apnea) The people I study and hang with in the same circles have been discussing this over the past week and I found this to be a good topic to bring awareness.
The definition of this term includes anyone and everyone, unaware of participating in the following activities: driving, watching tv, scrolling on your smart device, at a desk and in front of a computer screen. People tend to use their shoulders instead of their diaphragm to move air in and out of their lungs in this position, causing them to breathe shallow. We might even stop breathing or hold our breath and not even realize we are doing it. Yes this is a real thing and I can personally attest that over the last few years, I noticed my husband doing this. During the first few months of the pandemic, we set up our workspace across from each other at the kitchen table. I noticed him holding his breath and I had to tell him to breathe. He then gasps for air because he’s unaware the he stopped breathing. He also does this while we are relaxing on the sofa watching a movie. We kind of used to laugh at this when it happened and I thought that this was just something that only he did.
People have been talking about this for over a decade now. The topic recently resurfaced due to the pandemic, naming it Zoom apnea. Why should you care? It maybe influencing and/or harming your health. Breathing incorrectly leads to exhaustion or energy drains and compromises your work production. Our automatic nervous system is compromised, by holding the breath, this throws the nervous system (sympathetic) into flight-or-flight mode, and affects the (parasympathetic) related to rest-and-digest. This contributes to stress-related illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. Over time other issues may occur like: sleep disruption, lack of focus or slower reaction times, depression, anxiety and mood disorders. Screen apnea alters your body’s balance of oxygen, nitric oxide, and carbon dioxide causing inflammation and interfering with your immune system’s ability to fight infections.
What to do? Chances are you are not breathing correctly, check out this post here. I know myself that there are certain times of the day or events when I breath shallow. If taking a breathing class seems like a waste of time or silly, start becoming aware of when you are breathing shallow and fix your posture. Sitting up straight makes it easier to breath and easier for our organs to function correctly. Also, it’s best to get up and move, go for a walk or stretch. Get your blood circulating to restore your breathing to its natural rhythm. Get rid of that brain fog and clear your mind. I can’t stress the importance of breathing correctly, yet we all seem to take it for granted.
Please comment below and give me your thoughts on this blog. Tell me if you thought this was helpful, or if you agree or disagree. It’s important to be aware of the simple actions we take that may or may not lead to adding stress to the body. I also want to hear from you if you’d like to know simple breathing techniques that can help any one from a CEO to a grade schooler. How to deal with energy drains and learn energy restoring techniques for daily life situations.