When you think of your health, do you imagine things like exercise equipment and supplements? Maybe you picture doctors and diets. People often overlook how technology plays a role in the decline of health because everyone depends on it every day.
Read on to learn about 10 ways technology can impact your health. You can make adjustments to your lifestyle as needed, rely less on technology and improve your long-term wellness.
1. It Increases Laziness
Smart TVs and streaming networks on your computer or tablet make it easy to lose track of time and spend hours binge-watching your favourite shows. Those are hours you could have been cleaning up around the house or exercising, which is crucial movement your body needs to stay healthy.
2. It Triggers Headaches
While you look at a screen, your eyes naturally want to settle on a point of focus farther away, which is called the resting point of accommodation (RPA). Because of this, your eyes continuously struggle to focus on the screen, which triggers headaches and migraines due to eyestrain.
3. It Forms Addictions
Think about how often you subconsciously grab your phone and swipe open your favourite app. It’s not a coincidence. App developers strategically use psychological lures and tricks — such as sending out push notifications — to gain new users and keep them scrolling. Constantly needing to be on social media or other apps is a form of mental addiction that’s a result of too much screen time.
4. It Amps Up Anxiety
While you tackle your work or school project, you might have a tablet playing the latest movie or your phone displaying a refreshed social media feed. Without meaning to, your multitasking amps up your anxiety by pulling on your focus from different directions.
5. It Leads To Stress
Your phone vibrates, and it’s a news alert about the latest crisis in the world. Your family members post controversial things on Facebook, or you get constant texts from an upset partner. Technology adds to your stress, whether you know it or not, which leads to harmful symptoms like high blood pressure and heart disease.
6. It Strains Your Neck
Leaning forward to see your computer or phone screen puts pressure on your neck that strains it after a long day of hard work. Putting electronics away lets your neck rest in a more comfortable position.
7. It Encourages Bad Posture
Bad posture affects other parts of your body, too, like your shoulders and lower back. Using electronics for hours at a time makes it easy to forget about how you’re sitting and lead to feeling uncomfortable at the end of the day.
8. It Can Introduce Bad Habits
When you browse the internet, you might see unhealthy points of view from people who post statuses, articles and pictures. Regularly seeing content like extreme dieting and supplements can result in eating disorders or general food consumption concerns.
9. It Can Induce Insomnia
Spending time in front of a screen before bed can cause regular bouts of insomnia because it disrupts your circadian rhythm. The blue light from your phone, tablet, computer or gaming device suppresses important sleep hormones that help your body rest and heal during deep sleep.
10. It Damages Your Vision
Even when a new electronic product passes pre-compliance EMC testing to ensure that it’s safe for the public to use, blue light can still impact your eyes. The longer you stare at a screen, the more the light strains your retinas. Some studies show that blue light can also cause people to become nearsighted over time, mostly if they spend more than eight hours per day using technology.
Review Your Technology Habits
The link between technology and health is undeniable. If you want to improve your wellbeing, reflect on your routine and see how you can improve. The less you rely on technology, the healthier you can become.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.