Modern gadgets make life a breeze – until they don’t. With a lot of time being spent online, on computers, on smart phones, the risk of creating problems for yourselves is definitely increasing. The article below highlights some more common afflictions coming out of this currently common lifestyle. Team RetyrSmart
Modern gadgets and technology could make you sick
Computer vision syndrome
Staring at a computer screen for hours at a time isn’t doing your eyes any favors: doing so can lead to computer vision syndrome, with symptoms including eyestrain, headaches, and blurred vision. To alleviate problems, try to reduce glare on your monitor, blink often, and take frequent breaks.
Hand specialists have reported a rise in tendinitis of the thumbs due, they say, to an increase in cell phone and computer use. Warning signs of the condition include tingling or numbness. If you have an afflicted finger, help it heal by resting it or with physical therapy.
Sitting in a hunched position at your desk all day can lead to back pain down the line – not good. To alleviate discomfort, try a Thoracic Bridge stretch.
Cell phone elbow
One might fall victim to this ailment no matter how smart their phone is, but “cell phone elbow” refers to a condition where people hurt an “essential nerve in their arm by bending their elbows too tightly for too long,” according to CNN. You might notice discomfort if you hold your phone next to your ear for a long conversation. Possible solutions? Switch hands, or use headphones with built-in mics or Bluetooth headsets.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
A small study published in the journal Muscle & Nerve suggested that people who spend extended amounts of time on their smartphones, tablets, or game consoles (nine or more hours a day) had significantly more wrist and hand pain. This study followed up a previous, larger study in which intensive device use was categorized as five or more hours a day. More than half of the participants who used their phones or devices intensively musculoskeletal pain or discomfort. Only 12 percent of the other group (on their devices five or less hours a day) had these symptoms. These numbers may exaggerate how long people actually spend on their phones, but study author Pete White says “caution may be warranted when using hand-held electronic devices, in order to minimize the chance of developing carpal tunnel syndrome.”
Social media is flooded with pictures of perfectly styled, drool-worthy food. They’re fun to look at, but they could also be altering your appetite. One study showed that people are more drawn to photos of foods with a high-fat content than low-fat food, and they are more likely to find similar foods near them after seeing those pictures. Not only is so-called “food porn” inadvertently encouraging people to eat unhealthy foods, but it’s also making it harder for people to break that habit. Another study found that obese people have higher brain activity when they see photos of food than those of a healthy weight, especially when the foods were high in fat. The pictures even triggered a food-related brain response in obese participants when they weren’t hungry.
From answering emails on a computer at work or watching TV at home, people spend most of their time using technology in a seated position. And the more prominent technology becomes in our lives, the more time we spend sitting and not being active. According to MedlinePlus, sedentary lifestyles come with serious health risks, including a higher risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
The time you spend on your phone can impact how long it takes you to fall asleep and the quality of your sleep. In a 2016 study, researchers tracked 653 participants and determined the median time spent looking at their screens was 38.4 hours over 30 days. Forty-two percent of participants who spent that much or more time on their phones had difficulty sleeping, and around 35 percent of participants who used their phones for less than that also had sleep troubles. The results also showed people who used their phones right before bed were more likely to have poor sleep quality.
Looking down at your phone all day puts strain on your neck, which holds up your 10-15 pound head. The longer you stay in that position, the more work your muscles have to do, and that can result in neck pain or potentially pulled muscles.
You may like to turn up the volume on your headphones so that you can only hear your music, but that’s actually a dangerous habit. Aaron Moberly, MD, assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, told Everyday Health that headphones deliver sound very close to your eardrums. Prolonged exposure could damage your ears and even cause hearing loss. He recommends keeping the volume at or below the halfway point…