Technological Wonder: 3 Ways Technology Has Impacted Daily Health Habits
Technology has had an enormous impact on every aspect of our daily lives. From streamlining our workdays to keeping tabs on how many steps we take it’s hard to turn any corner without encountering tech of some sort. But how does society’s ultra-connected way of life affect our health?
Problem: Physical inactivity is responsible for over 3 million deaths a year, making in the fourth leading risk factor for death in the United States. We all love to chill out and watch Netflix, but heading straight for the couch after sitting all day at work is a precursor to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and weight gain.
Solution: Thanks to new technology, we can track how fast and far we walk. Fitbits and FuelBands measure the user’s movement. Pair it with your Bluetooth and smartphone to keep track of how much you move in a day. Doctors recommend at least 30 minutes of cardio per day, so even if you don’t have a gym membership, strive for 10,000 steps a day.
Monitoring your activity level and being able to see the progress you make to shed those unwanted pounds.
Problem: Where do you go on your work break? Common spaces and break rooms filled with candy-laden vending machines are a leading cause of weight gain. Combined with the fact that most office workers sit for eight hours or more each day, it can be hard to keep a healthy lifestyle unless you really pay specific attention to it.
Solution: Technology has saved the day again by giving us MyFitnessPal. In addition to a free website, this app counts calories imports nutritional information such as calories, fat content and serving sizes. It also breaks down calories into fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Having a detailed breakdown of what you’re eating can help speed up weight loss.
Problem: From desktop computers to smartphones, we are looking at screens for the majority of our day. Bad posture, small fonts and poor lighting all wreak havoc on our vision.
Solution: If you’ve ever watched a serious gamer on YouTube, you may have noticed that they usually wear special glasses. GUNNAR Optiks offer computer eyewear with amber-tinted lenses that filter out artificial light and improve image contrast to reduce eye strain.
Since the shape of the lenses encourages eye moisture, tired eyes are a thing of the past. If your job involves computer use for extended periods, it’s recommended that you schedule routine eye exams.
Even if you take the appropriate precautions, staring at a computer can compromise your eye health, talk to an eye care professional.
Staying Fit While Connected
The impact of modern technology on our social, mental and physical health is a wondrous thing. And while there are those who believe that technology is bad for us, like with most things, moderation is key.
Although regular computer breaks are essential, we can use technology to our advantage by downloading fitness and nutrition apps to help us stay in shape and keep our diets balanced.
Even if you aren’t a fitness buff, check out the apps and sites available today. Installing a simple pedometer can inspire you to walk more and get fitter.
Emma is a freelance writer currently living in Boston, MA. She writes most often on education and business. For eye care professionals, Emma recommends All About Eyes. To see more from Emma, say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2