Electronic devices like smartphones and laptops have become essential parts of everyone’s lives. For many, their gadgets are an extension of their bodies; they cannot leave the house or concentrate without their phones.
However, anything taken in excess can result in problems. Using devices for several hours every day is not good for your health. If you think you, or a family member, overuse technology, here are the health problems you should look out for.
When people stare at a screen, they tend to blink less. It does not matter whether they are looking at their smartphone, their laptop, or the television. Staring at a screen throughout the day can cause dry eyes.
Some cases of dry eyes are caused by other factors. MGD (meibomian gland dysfunction), for example, happens when bacteria infect the meibomian glands which are responsible for releasing the moisture that lubricates the eyes. Those who suffer from the eye condition should seek MGD treatment.
However, in many cases, dry eyes is just a result of screen overuse. When you do not blink as often as you should, the moisture that lubricates your eyes evaporate.
To remedy the problem, you can use eye drops occasionally. However, a better solution is to remind yourself to take short breaks throughout the day. A good rule to follow is 20/20/20: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes to stare at something 20 feet (6.1 meters) away. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself.
Do you slouch every time you use your laptop for work or for leisure? If you do it often, you might suffer from back pain. Muscle soreness and fatigue are common complaints among people who use their computers every day. This is mainly caused by bad posture.
Typically, sitting properly, with your back straight, feet planted on the ground, and your eyes staring straight forward, would prevent chronic backaches. You should also invest in a chair that offers back support and raise your computer screen to eye level so that you do not have to look down.
The human body is not meant to sit on a chair for eight or more hours a day. However, due to the nature of a lot of office work, many have to sit in front of their computers every day.
Being sedentary is bad for your health. One particular health problem that you might face if you sit in front of a computer for hours is obesity which can lead to very serious illnesses.
Regular physical activity and a healthy diet should be encouraged. You should also take a break in between throughout the day when using your electronic device. Walk around the office or get out of the house for a bit.
Those who say they cannot live without their smartphones may not be kidding. Technology addiction, also called internet addiction, is a real problem and it is on the rise.
Symptoms of technology addiction include compulsive checking of text message or notification, constant updates of Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, social withdrawal, and loss of interest in activities that do not involve computers or smartphones.
If you are concerned about technology addiction, consult a mental health professional.
Technology is not inherently bad. It offers endless information and connects people together. However, like all things, it should be used in moderation.