Published: 02/18/2016 - Updated: 08/09/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
Technological advances are the order of the day, new mobiles, tablets, computers, musical devices, etc. No doubt that in this era, we are adapting to technologies with great speed which, in the past, we would never have imagined could exist.
However, not everything is hunky-dory as the abuse of these technological advances can be seen reflected in some health problems that would not be common if it were not for the existence of these products.
Excess weight and Obesity
Yes it is true, obesity problems are not new as there have always been people combating weight problems. However, in more recent years, obesity has become a serious global health problem, affecting both adults and children.
Experts agree that a sedentary lifestyle has been instrumental in increasing obesity rates globally, as every day we are reducing physical activity in order to increase our use of cars, video games, television, and other devices. These activities have taken over from those which previous generations used to do, like walking, or playing sports recreationally.
On the other hand, the marketing of junk food in all kinds of devices has been linked with the problem of obesity and it is believed that the longer we are exposed to these technologies, the longer we are exposed to this type of advertising so unconsciously, it could be affecting us.
Do you stay up late working at the computer? Do you use your phone at night? Or simply do you play on or surf the Internet before going to sleep? It is possible that these habits are either altering or have already changed your sleeping habits.
Technological insomnia is increasingly common and has several explanations: It not only happens because our minds are distracted when we should be resting, but also electronic devices emit a type of light that can alter the production of melatonin, a hormone involved in reconciling sleep.
If we have the habit of using these devices at night, chances are we have already noticed problems when sleeping without knowing the cause: It is none other than the use of technology.
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Spending long hours in front of a monitor screen can be a problem for the sight, therefore it is normal for the famous "eye stress" to present itself, which is characterised by symptoms such as dry eyes and eye strain. In some cases, these problems can lead to more serious conditions such as short-sightedness.
It is advised to keep a safe distance from the screen, at least 50 centimeters, and if necessary, use artificial tears to keep the eye lubricated well and prevent dryness caused by prolonged exposure to the monitors and screens.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
This syndrome consists of a neuropathy which occurs when a nerve located near your wrist is compressed. When it occurs, the person complains of pain in the area of the wrist and palm, near the junction of the index finger and thumb and in some cases, the pain may radiate to the arm.
This syndrome usually affects mostly older people, however with the use of new technologies, especially keyboards, video games and cell phones, it can occur in both the young and old.
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It can usually be corrected through rest, laser therapy, exercises and even acupuncture as an alternative, however, some cases might require surgery.
Music and loud sounds have become our daily companions, whether we're watching a movie and want to experience the full effects of sounds for a more immersive experience, or simply want to hear our favorite songs on the way home or during work or study, with new technologies, we are almost always surrounded by sounds.
While our ears can withstand these sounds, experts have mentioned that spending hours listening to music or other sounds from technological devices as part of our routine can cause premature hearing problems. It is recommended that the sound does not exceed 70 decibels and if so, it should not be for longer than one hour. The use of headphones should also be limited.
Moderation is the key
No one can argue against the benefits of technology, as we facilitate our work and daily life with it. However, it is important not to abuse devices as it can be harmful to our health and have serious consequences in the future.
It is best to limit our use of electronic devices during the day, try to use them respecting our schedules, and educate younger people so they can make use of these technologies consciously.
In addition, it is advisable to encourage other entertainment activities such as hiking and outdoor sports.
Finally, it is important to rest, sleep well and pause for extended periods from exposure to different types of technological devices.
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