CORVALLIS, Ore. (KVAL) - Americans are devoting more and more time to screens.
And researchers at Oregon State University warn it could be aging you.
OSU professor Jaga Giebultowicz has been studying the effects of blue light with fruit flies, which she says have similar cells to humans.
A group of flies are subjected to 12 hours of blue light and 12 hours of darkness - the others, a warmer light.
She says our cells phones, tablets, even artificial room lights contain some blue light.
“These lights are cheap, and they last long,” Giebultowicz said.
And that might not be such a good thing.
Her study finds that the flies exposed to the blue light for long periods of time die sooner - possibly cutting 20 percent of their lifespan.
‘We think that flies are telling us something, telling us a warning that we need to be careful with light,” she said.
Giebultowicz said they're not only dying sooner but aging faster.
The flies exposed to blue light - even those without eyes - still show damage to their brain neurons.
She and her team test the flies movements over time, the blue light group not getting around so well.
“Older flies go slower just like the human would walk slower,” she said.
She calls this a warning to humans, as some studies show Americans on average spend more than 10 hours each day on screen time.
Giebultowicz said it's still unclear the exact effects of blue light on humans. She hopes to one day find out.
But in the meantime, Giebultowicz suggests changing the settings on your computers and phones for a warmer light at night - and dimming your home lights at night as well.
And of course, consider less screen time.