what are the negative effects of technology on health?

It's challenging to picture living without technology given that there are tens of billions of internet-connected devices in existence today. Our lives are becoming more and more reliant on technology, from cellphones to tablets to laptops. 

What impact does this dependence have on our physical and emotional health, though? What effects on our health do screens have? And how may technology assist us in maintaining our own health?

In this review, we look at some of the ways that technology has an impact on our physical health, such as how much screen time kids and teens spend and how cellphones affect their sleep cycles. We investigate if technology might genuinely be making us happier while also examining the data supporting assertions regarding the risks associated with social media and gaming.Finally, we discuss some positive aspects of technology and how technology can improve people’s quality of life.

Negative impacts of technology on health

We frequently forget how technology affects our physical health since it has ingrained itself so deeply into our lives. Here are a few ways that technology harms our physical health:

1. Smartphones and tablets - According to a research in the journal Pediatrics, kids can gaze at screens for up to eight hours per day. Eye strain, headaches, neck pain, and possibly lack of sleep could result from this.

2. Social Media - According to a recent survey, nearly half of teenagers use social media daily. Furthermore, despite popular belief that using social media makes you happier, research reveals the opposite. In fact, a study indicated that people who tweet about happy occasions eventually feel less joyful.

3. Gaming - According to a different study, young individuals who play video games frequently are more likely to smoke and consume alcohol. They also tend not to exercise as much.

Musculoskeletal issues

Long-term usage of devices like smartphones and tablets can cause elbow, wrist, hand, and neck pain as well as back and neck pain.

In addition, using laptops and cellphones requires users to work in positions that are inconsistent with good ergonomics, which can result in discomfort and injury.

People who use computers for extended periods of time may have neck and shoulder pain for a number of reasons. They're not sitting properly, for one thing. Their arms being too near to their bodies is another factor. They're holding their heads too high, which is another factor.

How to minimise musculoskeletal injuries:

When working, make sure you sit properly to prevent back and neck problems. Verify the placement of your computer monitor, desk, and chair. Additionally, try to avoid leaning too much forward when typing. Keep your body calm and upright instead.

Digital eye strain

For many people, frequent usage of digital devices might result in major health issues. Digital eye strain, often known as computer vision syndrome, is one of these issues (CVS). Prolonged use of computers, tablets, cellphones, etc., is the cause of this.

The issue is that the human body wasn't made to spend the entire day staring at screens. We don't blink often enough while our eyes are exposed to intense light all the time. Our eyes grow fatigued and strained as a result.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

• Dry eyes

• Redness around the eyes

• Headaches

• Blurred vision

• Neck and shoulder pain

How to reduce digital eye strain

You should adhere to the 20-20-10 guideline to help prevent digital eye strain. This calls for taking pauses from your screen every 20 minutes and focusing for 20 seconds on an object that is 20 feet away. Within a few days, a difference will become apparent.

Disrupted sleep

A study that was published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews found that using technology before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep. In comparison to those who didn't use electronics, researchers discovered that those who used cellphones, tablets, computers, and TVs within 30 minutes of going to bed had lower levels of melatonin, the hormone linked to sleepiness.

Lift your hips up and place them beneath your shoulder. Maintain a straight line from head to toe across your entire body.

In fact, the researchers hypothesised that it would be possible to create a tool that could help you nod off more quickly.

Physical inactivity

People who use their smartphones, computers, and tablets excessively may become less active. According to a new survey, nearly half of parents are concerned about how much time their children spend watching TV, playing video games, and using the internet. In fact, some parents worry that their children aren't engaging in enough exercise.

A 2018 study found that over 40% of parents asked expressed concern that their child would not be getting enough physical activity due to excessive screen time. Mothers were more likely than fathers to worry about this, whilst fathers were more likely to concentrate on nutrition.

The researchers hypothesised that parents may feel as though their children are missing out if they don't play outside or attend sports practise each day. There isn't any proof, though, that spending more time sitting down results in greater health.

In fact, evidence indicates that inactivity may potentially raise the chance of contracting specific diseases. An increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and various malignancies has been linked to a lack of physical activity.

How to stay active:

- Begin modestly. Long stretches of sitting are broken up with even a little walk. Try going for a 10-minute stroll three times per week. Take it a step further by jogging for 30 minutes five days a week.

- Schedule time for activities that bring you joy. You'll find yourself wanting to do them over and over again.

Psychological issues

According to Dr. Michael Thase, head of the Center for Mental Health Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, problems brought on by excessive screen time are "a rising epidemic." While it's difficult to pinpoint the precise number of people who feel psychological distress as a result of excessive technology use, he speculates that it may range from 10% to 20%.

According to Thase, even while people who spend too much time in front of screens are receiving enough of information, they nonetheless experience anxiety about missing out on something significant. Additionally, they could be concerned about receiving criticism or judgement from friends and family members or about having their lives assessed against those of others. Additionally, some people develop an obsession with striving for certain outcomes, such as publishing flawless images or remarks on social media, and become angry when they fail.

The good news is that most people can cut back on their screen usage without suffering detrimental effects. Thase advises setting a daily time restriction of one hour and refraining from using social media during meals, naps, bedtime, or any other time when you're not working or studying. If you find that you need more time, consider taking breaks around every 30 minutes.

Negative effects on kids

It has been established that excessive use of technology is bad for kids' and teenagers' physical and mental health. According to a recent study, children who spend too much time on screens have trouble focusing, making friends, and learning.

According to the study, kids and teenagers who spend too much time on screens typically perform worse academically and have lower self-esteem and confidence. Additionally, they are more prone to experience anxiety, despair, and low self-worth.

Children are also affected by the same problems as adults, such as poor posture, eye strain, and disturbed sleep. How to lessen the effect

Children and teenagers should not be allowed to use computers, smartphones, tablets, or TV sets for longer than is necessary.

Additionally, they need to make sure that the room is well-lit during the day and that no bright lights are beaming into people's eyes at night.

Impact on hearing

Hearing loss is one of the most common ailments affecting the elderly. In reality, it affects nearly half of all seniors. While some types of hearing loss cannot be avoided, others can. One way to reduce your chances of developing hearing problems is to limit your exposure to loud noises.

According to estimates from the World Health Organization, approximately 1.1 billion young adults worldwide are subjected to excessive noise levels on a daily basis. This includes playing music loudly through speakers, earbuds, or headphones.

How to minimize the impact on your hearing:

The amount of sound that reaches the inner ear is diminished by the outside-the-ear headphones' provision of a barrier between the ears and the music. You can also hear background noises like traffic and conversations thanks to them.

You may undoubtedly enjoy music with better headphones without endangering your hearing. Make sure they fit properly if you do decide to purchase a pair. You might want to think about getting some earplugs as well.

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