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What Is Technology Doing To Our Health?

What Is Technology Doing To Our Health?

There are plenty of reasons to use technology in our lives—after all, it helps us keep up with our friends, entertain ourselves, and get work done more efficiently than ever before. But what’s the trade-off? Are we sacrificing our health? This article explores how technology affects your body and brain and what you can do to mitigate its negative effects while using its positive ones to your advantage.

Technology makes it easy to eat poorly

With so many apps and devices at our fingertips, it’s becoming easier than ever to make unhealthy choices. Whether you’re craving pizza or cookies, there’s probably an app for that—and many of these options are great in moderation, but can do more harm than good when used too frequently. If you’re trying to live a healthy lifestyle but need a little extra motivation or inspiration from technology, consider using some of these health-conscious apps: Cook Smarts offers over 300 free recipes and diet plans; Mevolife helps users log their moods throughout each day; Lifesum connects with users’ fitness trackers to offer diet recommendations based on caloric intake and exercise; and lose it!

Technology can be addictive

According to The Verge, a survey of 1,500 smartphone users found that 68 percent check their phones hourly. And while technology can certainly be addictive, it doesn’t have to be. Now that you know just how much time you’re spending on your phone and what it is doing to your health, maybe it’s time to turn off notifications or avoid mindlessly scrolling through Instagram after work hours. You might find a few extra minutes in your day—or save yourself from some potential long-term damage. Think of it as a chance for healthy living with technology!

Technology can stress us out

Research shows that people who spend a lot of time on their phones and computers tend to have higher levels of stress, more negative emotions, worse sleep, and more aches and pains. We think it’s because too much technology creates a cycle of distraction that’s hard to break. But spending time with your loved ones in person makes you happier than spending time with them on social media does. So disconnect from your devices at least once a day — you might feel better.

Technology can make us antisocial

Although we’re all connected at all times thanks to our smartphones, it’s important to maintain healthy relationships in person and not just online. In fact, research has found that constant use of social media sites can actually make us more anti-social by leading us to engage in less meaningful interactions. While it may seem like social media is a time suck, there are many benefits to using these networks. Most importantly, they give you a sense of community and help you connect with people who have similar interests and passions as you. If you find yourself isolated or losing interest in real-life interactions, try deactivating your accounts for a bit; interacting on social media won’t replace face-to-face relationships but will only enhance them.

Technology can affect sleep quality

A study published in Computers in Human Behavior in 2015 found that people who played a video game for 30 minutes before bed reported worse sleep quality and took longer to fall asleep. Since your body produces more cortisol when you’re awake and gaming, try taking a break from your console or phone at least an hour before bed. You might also want to think about removing TVs, laptops, cell phones and tablets from your bedroom—those glowing screens can interfere with melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep. Of course, if sleep isn’t an issue (because you have jet lag or travel frequently), there’s no need to limit your screen time.

Technology is affecting kids in negative ways

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked time spent on digital devices with poor physical health. A 2012 study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that more than 90 percent of fifth graders use technology before bed, which can disrupt their sleep cycles. Researchers have also found a link between using technology at nite and having difficulties sleeping. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep every nite, yet 50 percent of Americans report sleeping less than seven hours per nite. Getting enough rest is essential for good health, but there are many things keeping people up at night—and one of them might be how much time they spend on their mobile devices before bedtime.

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