Recent research shows there are three areas of concern for most consumers when it comes to the dependence on their device as they rely on current technology to drive their decisions – not daily, probably not by the hourly but realistically minute-by-minute. The concerns address vision, sleep and physical interaction.
Overuse of devices can cause many challenges; these three happen to top the list. Most people spend over 6 hours a day looking at and using digital tools. While in years past the use of monitors and computer screens were the primary concern – more people today are using smartphones and tablets, so the number of hours of use will easily continue to increase. This type of activity will begin to hurt the user.
As a society, many are diligent to get and stay healthy, and technology can provide many advantages for tracking and monitoring their progress. Use of digital devices can assist in improving diet/eating habits, fitness outcomes and oversight of health conditions.
So how can you use technology to counterbalance all your daily interactions and keep you healthy in all aspects? And, avoid clashing with technology. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to channel the power of your technology to enhance your overall well-being.
Time in front of a monitor, screen or another device could be causing eyestrain and other issues with your vision. It’s hard to believe the longer you look at a screen, the less you blink. This can minimize the tears that safeguard your eyes and possibly not replenished. Also, eyestrain can occur because the font size on phones and portable devices is much smaller.
There are many signs of digital eyestrain; they include struggle focusing, dry eyes, headaches, itching, blurry vision, burning, and aches in the neck or shoulder areas. These might be short-term irritations for most with no long-term effects. Should any of these symptoms persist, you may want to seek the guidance of a professional or an eye care practitioner?
The Vision Council recommends one exercise that might be helpful. It is to take a 20-20-20-20-20 break: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away. To teach yourself to blink more often, form a habit around blinking each time you breathe.
It’s no surprise that many smartphone users sleep with their phone or have it accessible nearby during their hours of slumber. And, many use their device in bed up until the time they go to sleep. This behavior seems undisruptive; however, it is entirely the opposite. Late night use is one habit you want to avoid; it could be hindering you from a good night’s sleep.
Charles Czeisler, MD, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital has discover that, “Artificial light exposure between dusk and the time we go to bed at night suppresses release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin, enhances alertness and shifts circadian rhythms to a later hour—making it more difficult to fall asleep.”
To prevent sleep interruption, try swapping late-night technology use with a beneficial sleep routine: family wind-down time, reading in bed or taking a bath. Refrain from device use or even having within arms reach to avoid nighttime distractions.
The definition of sedentary for work or a way of life is: ‘characterized by much sitting and little physical exercise.’ Most use of technology occurs in a seated, comfortable position and the user experiences very little physical activity. There appears to be a connection between the lack of physical exercise and habitual use of technology, including multiple devices to accomplish the users desired outcome.
Examples are home, office, car, meetings, outside activities, and special events. How long could you live without having any contact or use of technology? How can you incorporate physical activity into your daily routine without technology?
While technology can enhance your life, the focus moving forward should be to utilize it as a tool to improve your health and physical activities instead of being detrimental to your lifestyle, behavior and daily patterns. Finding a friend or loved one to share in your commitment to the technology cutback would be a great way to keep each of you in check. Reducing the clash with technology.
Let the Team at Meliora share the tools you need to create a sustainable wellness platform that will reduce the clash with technology and focuses on you and your employees putting our tools to good, healthy use.
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