In today’s world, there’s no avoiding technology – it’s everywhere! From smartphones to tablets to TVs, and the list goes on. Of course, it’s been helpful for quick information access and many other reasons, but is it harmful? How is technology affecting your health?
In Alltime10s video, “10 Ways Technology Is Killing You,” the presenters outline 10 ways your tech habits put your health at risk.
Is it difficult for you to fall asleep at night? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While only about 10 percent of the U.S. population experiences chronic insomnia, more than one-quarter of us report poor sleep habits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And unfortunately, scrolling through your newsfeed in bed at night isn’t going to improve your sleep habits. The bright blue light your phone emits can throw off your body’s biological clock called “the circadian rhythm,” Harvard Medical School reports.
2. Sitting Down
From the invention of standing desks in offices to Apple Watches that send “It’s time to stand up” reminders, it is clear that Americans are sitting down far longer than they should be. In 2013, the American Medical Association deemed sitting for prolonged periods of time, especially in work settings, as harmful to our health. “The chair is out to kill us,” Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. James Levin told the Los Angeles Times.
3. Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive strain injury is caused by the small movements you make typing away on your computer or cellphone. Some of the symptoms include discomfort, stiffness, soreness in your hands, wrists, and fingers.
4. Wifi Kills Sperm
While wifi isn’t going to be the cause of your death, the presenters in the video note, “It deserves a spot on this list because of the potential ramifications it could have for the future (of) humanity.” They’re referring to a 2011 study, published in Fertility and Sterility, which exposed a small sample of men’s sperm to the electromagnetic radiation from laptop WiFi for four hours and observed damage to sperm’s DNA and motility.
5. Social Isolation
In addition to physical harm, technology can also do damage to your mental health. “The internet and social media can influence suicide-related behavior," the American Public Health Association concluded.
6. Online Doctors
There are plenty of licensed, board certified doctors using the internet to help patients, but there may be more information than a person can handle, which has led to some people becoming “cyberchondriacs.” Instead of self-diagnosis via Google, seek out a medical professional if you feel like something is wrong.
The manufacture of technology releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air we breath. Pollution is one of the leading causes of asthma, which affects about 25 million people in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.
8. Office-Related Hazards
Beyond jobs that require a substantial amount of sitting, another office-related health risk is a poorly maintained air-conditioning system.
In the United States, adults spend an average of ten hours and 39 minutes consuming media, according to a report by the Nielsen Company. This excessive screen time and infrequent exercise is linked to obesity. But, the screen isn’t the only problem. “Technology has a huge impact on our nutrition,” the video states. While watching TV we are often distracted, which leads us to mindlessly eat.
Distracted driving has become an increasingly dangerous safety issue. Distracted driving includes not only texting, but also reading maps, adjusting your music, and using navigation systems. Every day in the United States, more than eight people are killed in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.