180 Nutrition: Modern technology has interrupted every aspect of our lives and, despite the numerous benefits it brings to our existence, it is also influencing our eating habits, wreaking havoc with our health. Continued exposure to computers, tablets, smartphones, iPods, televisions and other technologies can be of great detriment to our existences according to research discussed in the Huffington Post. Not only is technology impacting our social skills but it also leads to more sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits which comes with its own set of implications. It is only once we become aware of the undesirable consequences that our seemingly innocent habits may harbor that we can address them effectively.
Technology is making us lazy
Despite the merits of regular exercise being common knowledge, as many as 70% of Australians do not meet the recommended exercise requirements according to ESSA (Exercise & Sports Science Australia). While there are many factors that contribute towards the predominantly-sedentary lifestyle that many Australians engage in, technology is unquestionably one of the frontrunners. Thanks to social media we have become habitual hermits. We are able to socialise with our friends from the comfort of our couches and we can often conduct most of our work sitting down in front of a computer – all of which contributes to a very unhealthy, inactive lifestyle.
Obesity is on the rise
With an increase in laziness obesity is also set to rise. As we become increasingly glued to our screens, the desire to make and indulge in healthy meals slowly fades. Getting up from the couch or from in front of a computer in the middle of a game or movie becomes unthinkable so, instead of making something to eat we pick up the phone and order unhealthy takeout or simply open a packet of chips or cookies instead. Screen time has even been linked to an increase in obesity among children with it overtaking exercise as the most important factor in childhood obesity according to research conducted at the University of South Australia.
Make healthier choices
In order to ward off countless nutrition-related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiac disease it is important to make healthy food choices. Instead of reaching for the nearest box of biscuits or chocolate bar, set aside some time to eat three healthy meals a day. When takeout seems like the only viable option, opt for grilled chicken or fish dishes instead of greasy burgers and fries and pizzas. You can also utilize your love for technology in a positive way by searching for easy-to-make healthy recipes online and downloading apps that will help you track your food consumption and physical activity.
Electronic devices impact our sleep
If you find yourself tossing and turning at night,battling to fall asleep, your mobile device could be to blame. TVs, computers, tablets and mobile phones emit a variety of different colored light, but it is the blue light that disrupts the body’s clock the most. With the light making us increasingly alert, it prevents us from falling asleep, often with dire consequences to our health. Not only has insomnia been linked to a diminished sex drive and a higher prevalence of accidents but it is also believed to increase your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Sitting in front of a computer causes back pain
As much as the modern-day computer has created a world of opportunities, it can also have a severe impact on our well-being. By sitting behind a computer for up to 8 hours a day you can become hunched and immobile according to the Chiropractors Association of Australia (CAA). You may also experience increased problems in your shoulders, arms, hands, and necks, all contributing to diminished coordination and balance. If your spine becomes too severely compromised, it is recommended to seek out a chiropractor to have your spine and posture professionally assessed.
Despite the negative effects technology can have on your health and well-being, it is impossible to imagine our lives without it. As long as technology is embraced in moderation it is still positive to reap the rewards without having to agonize over the possible negative effects it may have.
This article was written by Jane Munro a health enthusiast and freelance writer.