Is technology damaging our health?
7 April is #Worldhealthday and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share my personal view on technology and health.
There are so many apps/websites/devices out there today that say they can help you with your health. If look around you’ll find MyFitnessPal, Weightwatchers website, smart watches to track steps, heart rates monitors… the list goes on.
As a child growing up I didn’t have a computer or games consoles
In my free time I was outside with friends playing badminton/cricket/football or going off on cycling adventures. Today I look out the window where I live and don’t see any children playing or cycling anymore. Parents say their children are now indoors playing online computer games with friends and don’t go out at all. This is worrying especially as childhood obesity is on the rise.
Earlier today I was in a hospital waiting room. A mother and son (of 6-7 years old) walked in. Within one minute of sitting down the boy is asking his mum to play on her mobile phone for just 30 seconds. At first she resisted but the boy was persistent/raising his voice so she gave in on the condition he gave her a hug/kiss. This is not a blog on how to bring up children but am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?
And it's not just children who are addicted to technology
When I’m in public places (town centres, public transport) I like to observe people and my surroundings. A few days ago an adult was walking out of the tube station with their head looking down at the phone and was about to cross the road without even looking. If I hadn’t stopped the person, I dread to think what would have happened, as they didn’t see the cyclist coming towards them.
Last week I went out for a meal with a friend, my friend was constantly checking his phone (work and personal). I’m thinking, I would have better spent my time if I stayed home and texted you instead! Is checking your phone really so important that you are ignoring the person in front of you? It wasn’t just my friend, looking at another table made up of a family of four (parents and kids), guess what they were all doing? Yup you got it, they were all on their phones!!
The majority of us use mobiles/computers in everyday life but do we really need to be glued to our devices all the time?
Would it really hurt if we took a tech free hour/day and spent that time doing something non-tech related, or with other people – going for a walk or cycling, or if the weather ‘s bad go to the cinema, or swimming, or play a sport?
With the average head weighing 4-5kg, constantly looking down at a computer, tablet or mobile screen puts tremendous pressure on your neck muscles and joints. If you suffer from neck pain then you may want to assess your tech usage habits. An office worker spends 7 hours a day in an office environment in front of a computer. How regularly do you go for a break to get away from the computer screen?
While I appreciate this may not be the technology blog you may have been expecting, I’m breaking the norm and coming from the perspective of how to improve your health without technology.
Here are my top tips:
- Take regular breaks from your desk – even if it’s just to get a glass of water or going to talk to a colleague, instead of instant messaging/calling.
- Make sure your desk/chair are setup correctly to avoid any RSI/straining.
- Limit the number of hours/sessions you have on your phone – give your neck muscles a rest.
- Don’t use your phone while attempting to cross the road or using stairs/escalators.
- Try not to use any technology for at least one hour before bedtime. Let your brain relax. That Facebook post will still be there in the morning and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t like something straight away. If someone needs to get hold of you urgently they can call.
- Before going to sleep switch mobiles/tablets to airplane mode or keep them in another room. We need on average 7-8 hours of sleep a night, don’t let the notifications disturb you.
- If possible turn off your home Wi-Fi at night.
- If you own a smart watch set up challenges with your friends/family to see who can do the most steps in a day/week.
Here at BKS Consultancy we love technology and Marketing but we love people more.
Without you there is no us. Here’s to being healthy.
Marketing & IT Outsourced
Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash
Disclaimer: BKS Consultancy is providing this information in an advisory capacity and is providing independent advice based on experience. BKS Consultancy cannot be held responsible for any decisions made based on the advice above without expert guidance.