Technology brings many benefits to society: it facilitates routine, generates more entertainment, and speeds up the exchange of information. But its excessive use can also cause a series of harm.
The indiscriminate use of technological devices has impacted people’s physical and mental health, and internet addiction is already about to become a severe psychiatric pathology.
Therefore, it is essential to be aware of cell phones, computers, and video games, paying attention to any sign that these devices are excessively present in your daily life. See below the principal risks of technology and learn some tips to avoid inconvenience to your health and that of your family:
Four Risks Of Technology To Physical Health
Using technology abusively can bring a lot of damage to the proper functioning of the body. Such losses range from problems with the spine to decreased quality of vision.
Learn a little more about some of these problems:
One of the significant damages that the excessive use of technologies can cause is obesity. Since electronic devices and the internet became widely accessible, people have drastically reduced the practice of physical activities in their daily lives, becoming increasingly sedentary.
This is because the tablet and smartphone have, little by little, become a source of fun and entertainment, replacing other leisure activities that require displacement — such as walks and walks in parks.
In addition, currently, the computer and the internet are the primary work resources, mainly for professionals who deal with intellectual tasks or who need research and information.
As a result, people spend most of their hours sitting, decreasing the movement of their bodies throughout the day. Thus, they ingest more calories than they expend, which favors obesity.
According to a study carried out in Canada, there is a direct relationship between excessive use of electronic devices and a sedentary lifestyle. Such a study showed that people who own a television, computer, and car are more likely to develop obesity and diabetes. Another finding of this research is that tech addicts also have an additional 9 centimeters of abdominal circumference compared to others.
Consequences Of Obesity
Despite becoming increasingly common, obesity can have serious health consequences. It increases the risk of developing chronic diseases – diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems, such as a heart attack -and favors the occurrence of cancer.
Tips To Avoid Obesity
To avoid obesity, it is essential to reduce the use of technologies during the day and adopt a healthier lifestyle. See some tips:
- take breaks throughout your work, getting up for a walk, going to the bathroom, and having a glass of water;
- walk to work, even if only part of the way;
- give preference to public transport, so you move from one path to another;
- exchange the smartphone for other leisure activities, such as outdoor walks;
- trade the television for an outing with your family;
- adopt the practice of physical activity regularly;
- go upstairs and avoid using the elevator when you need to go up a few floors;
- adopt a more balanced diet, change simple eating habits, and make an appointment with the nutritionist.
Another detriment of excessive use of technology is postural problems. Perhaps, the spine is one of the parts of the body most affected by this exaggeration since, most of the time, the devices are used without concern for posture.
When looking at the screen of devices — smartphones, tablets, and computers — people bow their backs and lower their heads. However, as the head tilts, the neck becomes its primary support, increasing pressure on the cervical spine.
Likewise, professionals who work in front of the computer generally do not use ergonomic furniture. In that sense, they spend most of their day with their back flexed forward or their body leaning to the side, which is unhealthy for their spine.
Consequences Of Improper Posture
Staying long hours using technology in inappropriate postural positions impacts the spine. Among the problems caused, the following can be mentioned:
- column deviations;
- low back pain, that is, pain in the lumbar region;
- muscle contractures;
- herniated discs;
- tension in the shoulders and neck region;
- postural changes;
- neck pain;
- column wear.
Tips To Avoid Postural Problems
To avoid postural problems:
- reduce the time of cell phone, tablet, notebook, or computer use;
- always keep the screen of these devices at eye level or in the field of vision;
- use an ergonomic chair and table, that is, that leaves the spine erect and the arm at an appropriate height about the trunk;
- stretch your wrists and lower back and neck throughout the day;
- practice exercises — guided by a qualified professional — to strengthen your neck muscles and re-educate your posture.
Orthopedic Problems In The Fingers And Wrists
In addition to orthopedic spine problems, inappropriate use of technology can also harm the health of fingers and wrists. Instant messaging applications, social networks, and e-mail are examples of how people always want to be online and aware of everything around them.
In this scenario, they live typing, whether on their smartphone or computer. However, over-typing can cause injuries to the fingers and wrists from several hours of doing the same movement repeatedly.
Consequences Of Over-Typing
Among the problems that can be generated as a result of over-typing are:
- repeated strain injury (RSI), which can affect both fingers and wrists;
- tendinopathies, which are diseases that affect the tendons;
- degenerative changes, such as arthrosis;
- inflammatory processes in the joints;
- pain in fingers, tendons, wrists, hands, and elbows.
Tips To Prevent The Occurrence
Some tips can be implemented to prevent finger, hand, and wrist injuries from occurring:
- take breaks during the day, using electronic devices at intervals;
- adopt the practice of stretching your wrists, which can be done during holidays in the use of smartphones and computers;
- avoid always making the same movements with your fingers and hands;
- reduce the use of communicators, especially during leisure and rest hours;
- use the cell phone, tablet, and computer in an ergonomic position;
- seek professional help as soon as the first symptoms appear.
The eyes can also be significantly harmed by the indiscriminate use of computers, cell phones, and other mobile devices.
Such abusive use can cause early vision problems. This happens because the focus is kept on the same object for an extended period, leading to excessive visual accommodation, which, in turn, generates eye muscle spasms and damage to vision.
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