Is Technology Harming Your Health? Set Some BoundariesLisanne Wellness Center
It may be called “social networking,” but the amount of time we spend in cyberspace actually has the opposite effect. Rather than feeling connected and socialized, we end up feeling isolated. A 2014 study showed a direct correlation between time spent on Facebook and depressive symptoms. The more time we spend “connecting” with the world, the less we like the world. The reasons for this are varied, from comparing our lives to the “rose-colored glasses” versions of other people’s’ lives to spending too much time looking at a screen, and not getting enough real-life interaction. And Facebook isn’t the only technology culprit for causing physical and mental harm. Most of us check our phones first thing in the morning and last thing before going to bed at night. When you check your email every five minutes, you can never be truly present with the people you spend time with. Your attention is always divided. This is mentally draining. Add in the ways that technology harms our physical health (sore necks and shoulders from sitting in front of computers, strained eyes from staring at screens, and Carpal tunnel syndrome) and there’s an incredible argument for setting boundaries with technology.
How to Set Technology Boundaries Take a social media vacation: Whether you choose to take an hour or a week away, commit to breaking your addiction to social media with a temporary hiatus. While you’re at it, completely remove the app from your phone (for good). You can still log in to the internet or add the app back in three minutes, but not being able to access your notification with a single click.
Set designated times to check your email: You don’t need to check your email first thing in the morning. Allow yourself some time to adjust to being awake. Brush your teeth, have a cup of coffee, pray or meditate, and enjoy the only truly quiet time of the day. Plan on checking your email for the first time at 9 or 10 in the morning and again around 4 p.m. If there’s really an emergency, you’ll get a phone call. If not, you can handle the overnight demands in the morning and the daytime issues at 4.
Get a stand-up desk: All the time we spend sitting at computers is damaging to our health. If you must sit, make sure to stand up and walk around for ten minutes of every hour. If you have the option, opt for a stand-up desk. It improves posture, helps with circulation, and keeps you healthier. Heal Yourself: If you have chronic back pain from sitting in front of a computer, you can try yoga, Sauna bath, acupuncture, or massage to help heal the damage.
Get Outside: We spend most of our lives indoors, but human beings were never meant to be cooped up inside. Make a point of going outside every day. You can drink your morning coffee outside, eat your lunch in a nearby park, or take a 30-minute walk every night after dinner. Just make a point of feeling fresh air on your face on a daily basis. The best thing about getting out is you get physically active, get your vitamin D and feel fresh. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to many health conditions including cognitive decline and poor immunity. Along with regular sun exposure, you can take Vitagenis Vitamin D3 to increase your D levels.
Find non-technology related hobbies: If most of your free time is spent online, seek out relaxing and enjoyable options that can take its place. Some possible ideas are reading a book, gardening, running, swimming, playing tennis, rollerblading, playing basketball, or doing other outdoor activities. When you create boundaries with your use of technology, you’ll have more mental energy to focus on things that bring real joy, as opposed to things that simply distract. For more information on holistic living, health and wellness feel free to read our News section. For appointments with our functional medicine doctors or nutrition, consultations call 713-461-WELL.