We’re living in the digital era. We’ve observed important changes in our habits, personal relationships, and in all aspects of our lives due to technology. Technology Affects our health and wellbeing in many ways.
Technology can make users forget important information, communicate in shorthand, and be incapable of deep thinking. Canadians spend more than six hours a day looking at smartphones, TVs, tablets, and computers.
In one recent U.K. study, 84 percent of hand-held device users between the ages of 18 and 24 reported pain in at least one body part. Through these studies, we can understand how technology affects our health.
All that time with your head tilted forward puts you at risk for developing “text neck”. A musculoskeletal (MSK) condition that may cause headaches, plus neck, shoulder, and upper-back pain.
When the neck bends forward as we lean into our devices, the shoulders have to support the weight of our heads. This increases the stress on the muscles. Lean forward over your phone with your head at a 45-degree angle can increase the pressure on your spine.
Avoid tucking your chin more than 20 degrees toward your chest when you look at your screens. If you’re looking at your device in your lap, your head is tilted too far forward. If holding your phone at eye level is tough, try an app, such as Text Neck Indicator Lite, to keep tabs on your posture.
Spending hours at a computer can lead to a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. “Mouse finger” is caused by repeatedly using the same finger on the mouse. Your shoulders can also ache if your keyboard is wider than they are or if you have to reach too far for the mouse.
You have to change the mouse to the other side for a while or use a tilted mouse or some forearm support. A tablet-and-stylus setup can eliminate clicking altogether. And take breaks, at least once an hour.
Watching TV, texting friends and checking email before bed can lead to a lousy night’s sleep. That keeps you from disengaging and clearing your head before sleep. The blue light from LED screens delays the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, making it harder to drift off and have restorative deep sleep.
Avoid using electronic devices within three hours of bedtime. Filter out the blue light with a screen protector or wear specially designed orange eyeglasses.
Read our article on Unhealthy Sleep Habits to Avoid for a Better Sleep Quality to learn more about how Screen Time affects our health.
You view your smartphone, tablet or laptop at a “reading” distance, which can be tiring for your eyes. Focusing for too long can strain our eyes. Long focusing may also lower your blink rate, causing dry eye, which makes your eyes burn and water.
Eyestrain usually sets in after two hours of device use, so watch the clock. If you feel the tension in the brow area or pain and pressure behind the eyes, that’s a sign that your eyes are tired and need a rest. Take a 10- to 15-minute break.