Dignity Health Launches #TakeBackYourMorning As Clocks Fall Back, Challenging Americans to Embrace the Simple, Non-Digital, Pleasures of a New Day

New survey from health care system reveals almost half of respondents check their phones before getting out of bed in the morning

SAN FRANCISCO - Nov. 2, 2015 - One hundred and thirty-four. That's how many times people estimate they check their smartphones each day according to a national survey from Dignity Health, one of the nation's largest health care systems.

The new survey also revealed that an astounding 87 percent of respondents feel people spend too much time on their smartphone, and 40 percent of people said they have experienced physical pain or discomfort from using their phone too much. In response to the adverse health implications around our smartphone centric culture, Dignity Health hopes to reinvigorate the human connection by encouraging people to "take back your morning." And with daylight savings time having just ended for most of the country, the "extra" better lit hour each morning makes it easier than ever to set aside a few device-free moments at the start of each day.

The survey conducted in October 2015 of 2,000 smartphone users across the U.S., found that almost half of respondents said they check their phone before getting out of bed in the morning. This percentage jumps to 78 percent for 18 and 19-year olds and 65 percent for 20 to 29 year olds.

Given this growing trend of mobile-first morning routines, Dignity Health's "Take Back Your Morning" movement aims to inspire a healthier start to one's day. By encouraging Americans to disconnect from technology and focus on human interaction rather than a virtual connection through a smartphone, it hopes to motivate healthier habits to help one's mind, body, and spirit throughout the day.

"The illusion of smartphones is that they enable us to be continuously connected to our families and colleagues. By contrast, the reality is that smartphones allow us to avoid personal connection which is a necessary and healing part of the human psyche." said Dr. Gary Greensweig, vice president and chief physician executive for Physician Integration at Dignity Health. "In many cases reaching for our mobile phone has evolved to a nervous habit, at a moment's reach throughout the day. Banishing your smartphone from the bedside table, spending a few minutes in conversation with those we love each morning, or taking time to reflect about what is important in life, may result in a better sense of self, less stress, and an overall happier, healthier lifestyle."

The "Take Back Your Morning" task is simple: Step away from the screen and embrace your day in a new way – whether it's rediscovering a physical alarm clock in lieu of your smartphone on the bedside table or spending a few extra moments in bed with your loved ones (pets included!).

We encourage everyone to take and share a #TakeBackYourMorning pledge on social media, and tag a friend or family member to do the same!

Additional notable results from Dignity Health's "Take Back Your Morning" survey include:

  • Morning routines are dominated by mobile habits, sometimes even before hygiene:
  • - Almost a third (32 percent) of respondents check their phones before they say "good morning" to a loved one or family members

    - More than half of respondents (55 percent) admitted to checking their phone before brushing their teeth, and 48 percent turn to their smartphone before a morning cup of coffee

  • Smartphone use is linked to clumsiness and physical pain:
  • - Fifty-six (56) percent of respondents said they accidentally tripped or bumped into another person because they were distracted by their smartphone

    - Of the 40 percent of respondents who have experienced physical pain or discomfort from using their phone too much

    • Fifty-six (56) percent had experienced neck pain
    • Seventy-one (71) percent had experienced tired eyes
    • Fifty (50) percent had experienced headaches
  • Mobile phone habits can damage relationships:
  • - Almost a third (32 percent) of respondents said phones have somewhat or greatly harmed their relationships with others

    - Twenty-one (21) percent of respondents feel frustrated that their significant other or romantic partner is looking at their phone instead of engaging with them daily

    - More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents said they were confronted over rude mobile phone usage at least once

    - Thirty-eight (38) percent of respondents said they have created an in-house "rule" aimed at reducing overall mobile phone use

  • People are missing important life moments because of mobile phone use:
  • - Three-fourths of respondents said they found out about a significant life moment in a loved one's life such as an engagement or new baby through digital means rather than a personal conversation

    - Almost half (47 percent) of respondents said they missed an exciting moment (e.g., a last minute touchdown) because they were distracted by their smartphone

    - Fifty-six (56) percent of respondents said time on their smartphone took away from their hobbies

"When we put down technology and focus on human-to-human connection, we open ourselves up to the truest form of humankindness," said Dr. Greensweig. "This kindness is core to our mission at Dignity Health as we've seen the healing power of kindness, both inside and outside of our hospital walls, is rooted in human connection. We're excited to help ignite a rededication to the human connection with the launch of 'Take Back Your Morning.'"

For more information about #TakeBackYourMorning and how you can get involved, please visit http://www.dignityhealth.org/take-back-your-morning. A vast library of resources, including tips and tools to better health and wellness, is also available at http://www.hellohumankindness.org.