technology, health

How’s technology impacting your health?

Recently I’ve become increasingly distracted by my phone. This may sound a bit dramatic but I was feeling like I’d become a bit of a slave to it. Constantly checking my emails every time it pinged, catching up on Instagram, the incessant noise of text messages, pinging not once but twice every time they arrived!

Now I’m pretty good with my phone. I’m aware of when I’m on it. I make the choice to pick it up and check it and I always turn it off at night. But I’d slipped, it was creeping up on me again, to the point where even my nightly rule of turning it off had slipped too.

And it is distracting, it distracts the mind, busies the mind and takes you away from what’s going on around you. You know that feeling when you’ve been on Facebook and you get so lost that half an hour has passed without you even knowing it (and that’s on a good day!).

Our phones have become attached to us. You only need to spend some time when you’re out and about and look around, everyone is on their phones. People aren’t talking to each other they’re busy on their phones. I actually like looking around when I’m on a train or in a restaurant watching what’s going on.

So how is technology impacting your health?

We don’t really know the impact that phones can have on our long-term health. And it’s not just phones, it’s computers, tablets, emails and the burden of having so much information at our fingertips.

But think about these things.

Posture
Technology massively impacts our posture, especially if you’re sitting at a computer all day. An interesting experiment is to watch your children. Their posture is perfect when they’re born, their necks in complete alignment with their back, watch them playing and notice. And then watch them when they’re on the tablet, usually hunched over, their neck protruded. This will give you an insight and hopefully make you a bit more aware of your posture when you’re your computer.

Stress
Being constantly controlled by technology can impact our stress levels. If you’re feeling even slightly stressed or overwhelmed by the amount of emails on your phone for example the chances are that your body will be producing the stress hormones. Another way technology can impact your health.

Busy and distracted mind
There is so much distraction, so much noise in our world today and technology only adds to that, particularly with the amount of information we have at the tip of our fingers. It’s at the point where we’re always switched on.

It can impact your sleep
The blue light from your phone, tablet, computer and television can inhibit the hormone melatonin. This is the hormone that winds you down ready for sleep. You can read more about it here in my sleep post.

What can you do?

Turn off all notifications
This isn’t about turning your phone on silent, specifically turn off all notifications. I did this when I was feeling that I was being controlled by phone … and I haven’t turned them back on since! So I still get my calls but I’m really in control of when I’m using my phone and not distracted by the constant pinging!

Have a technology detox
You can turn your phone off for a day or combine your holiday with a technology detox. If I’m abroad I make sure data roaming is switched off. When I was on holiday recently I checked my phone 3 times during the 11 days I was away. And what was interesting the first time I checked I was instantly overwhelmed and felt stressed by the amount of emails and messages that came in all at once! It’s interesting to be aware of how you and your body reacts, this will be impacting your health.

Take it out of the bedroom
Ban all technology from the bedroom. And ideally turn everything off a few hours before you go to bed.

Put your phone down
Particularly if you’re with friends or the people you love. Be really present with them and leave technology behind. Enjoy the moment you’re in. And this may even mean taking less photos. We can become distracted by capturing the moment rather than being in the moment. Give 100% of yourself … And never ever be in front of a computer, tablet or phone whilst you’re eating.

In our always switched on world it’s good to take a break from technology.

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Nicky Duffell Bio photoNicky Duffell is a nutritional therapist and health coach who works with clients to improve their health and wellbeing.  With over 17 years experience in the corporate world Nicky uses her experience of coaching senior executives to help clients gain control of their health and achieve their goals. She’s a Mum of two beautiful children and know’s what it’s like to juggle family and work.  Nicky is passionate about food, health and her family.  After life took her on a few twists and turns she started this blog to share everything she’s learnt.  You can follow Nicky on Instagram for all her food inspiration and health tips.

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