Technology has become an integral part of our lives, helping us complete tasks more quickly than ever before. However, it may also have negative consequences on both mental and physical wellbeing.
Social media, for example, can cause feelings of loneliness and isolation, which in turn may be a contributing factor to depression and other mental health issues.
1. Poor posture
Poor posture can have serious repercussions for your physical wellbeing. From neck and back pain to heartburn, poor posture may even have an adverse effect on your mental wellbeing.
Good posture requires you to maintain a proper alignment of your spine when sitting, standing or walking. This includes keeping your shoulders and back straight, head level and feet approximately shoulder-width apart.
But there’s another, lesser-known benefit to keeping your posture upright: It can increase confidence! A study from Ohio State University discovered that when people sat up straight, they reported higher levels of self-assurance.
Slouching can activate your sympathetic nervous system without warning, which could be especially problematic if you’re already dealing with depression or anxiety.
2. Eye strain
Modern technology can have adverse effects on both mental and physical health. For instance, it may exacerbate symptoms of depression and anxiety, interfere with emotional intelligence, disrupt sleep patterns, or disrupt cognition altogether.
Though technology use can be a legitimate concern, it doesn’t have to be detrimental to your overall wellbeing. There are steps you can take to reduce its effects on mental and physical wellbeing such as getting enough rest, exercising regularly and making sure to get enough outside of work hours.
Eye strain is caused by ocular fatigue, or when the muscles surrounding your eyes are overworked for prolonged periods without rest. This can lead to headaches, blurred vision and double vision.
3. Disrupted sleep
Disrupted sleep is a problem experienced by millions of adults and children alike, whether due to everyday worries, medical issues or prescription medications, obstructive sleep apnea or other disorders of sleep, as well as conditions like asthma or allergies which can negatively impact quality of sleep.
Technology can also thwart your good night’s rest. Many people now rely on devices like smartphones, computers, or tablets while in bed; however, getting quality sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. To get enough shut-eye every night, prioritize making sleep part of your daily routine and following an established schedule–including limiting screen time at night and keeping electronics out of your bedroom–by prioritizing this step in your daily schedule.
Health care professionals have begun to address the use of smart phones at night, though the device itself is not yet an FDA-approved sleep aid. Many experts suggest turning off all electronic screens at least an hour before bedtime in order to promote healthier and more productive sleep.
4. Lack of physical activity
Many people neglect physical activity, despite its benefits for your heart, body and brain. Exercise helps protect against conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer while improving moods, thinking skills and learning capabilities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults complete 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity each week, and children and adolescents must get 60 minutes daily. Unfortunately, only one out of every five of us meet this recommendation.
Physical inactivity is a global health crisis, leading to chronic illnesses and even premature death. To combat this problem, the WHO Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030 calls on countries, cities and communities to implement an integrated response.
Now is an especially critical time to address this problem, as shorter days and colder temperatures can disrupt our routines. Finding a new activity you enjoy, like brisk walking, dancing or swimming, or taking an exercise video, can help boost both physical and mental wellbeing.