Technology has given us an edge in facilitating everyday tasks like contacting family, finding directions, booking appointments, and just learning about new things. But are we really safe with devices vibrating in our pockets and bright lights flashing our faces every few minutes in the name of keeping up with technology and information?
Well, according to researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), too much use of technology can be harmful to your health.
Combining that blunt reality with this statistic from a report done by British psychologists, you would be shocked by just how far above the tolerable maximum we have gone with our love technology. The research found that Americans spend around five hours of their day looking at a digital screen – and the number is only going up. In 2015, adults spent 65 percent more time on their mobile phones each 30 days than they did in 2011.
Here are seven ways technology affects our health.
1. Digital Eyestrain
When we stare at screens for too long, according to Security Gladiators, our minds get carried away and we often forget to blink. In fact, a study shows that we blink as much as ten times less when are gazing at a screen than when we are not. This causes the wetness that protects our eyes to dry up without getting replaced. What’s more, reading those small fonts on your phone or tablet is said to make your eyes adapt to better looking at smaller objects, creating a strain too.
2. Alters your sleep patterns.
Before your day ends, according to experts, it would be also wise to end your business with smartphones and computers. A study shows that too much use of tech right before turning in for the night can immensely affect your sleep pattern thanks to the bright light emitted from gadget screens. For young adults, this is even worse, as it comes at a time when it can do the most damage.
3. WiFi exposure may reduce your sperm count
You didn’t see this coming, but yes, the same rays that enable your phone to access the internet are a threat to your reproductive chances. A study conducted in 2011 found that men with exposure to electromagnetic radiation from computers, tablets, and mobile phones of more than four hours a day had a significantly lower sperm count than their counterparts who were more moderate with Wi-Fi connected devices. Researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK made the finding even more damning when they asserted in their report that the innocent act of storing your phone in your pocket does also lower sperm count.
4. Too much gadget contact screen may increase facial blotches
In what may be the eeriest fact about human and technology, at least one research asserts that phones can plant bacteria on your face each time you pick a call, leading to gradual blemishing of the facial skin. Thanks to the conditions of our external environment, the research suggests (as reported on Everyday Health) acne and eczema-causing bacteria pile up on the surface of your phone and pounce on the chance to vacate to the skin. The good thing about preventing this kind of conditions, however, is that sheer sterilization of your phone or even just going hands-free for some time can kill the bacteria before they reach your face.
5. It may wreck your neck
Yes, technology is now going about the damage physical. Spine surgeon Kenneth Hansraj found that too much time on the phone may be hurting your back, whether admiring your gallery, playing games, or contributing to a WhatsApp group thread. He explains that keeping your head tilted at 60 degrees staring at your phone is like supporting 60 pounds of pressure on your neck. Another older study suggests that sitting in front of a computer for a few hours a day even in ergonomically-correct positions is likely to affect your stature. That simply means you cannot avoid this affect by now logging into your Twitter account using your desktop computer.
While most of these technology effects on your health are preventable if necessary measures are taken, completely reversing a full blown case may take longer than expected. Avoid as much unnecessary use of gadgets as you can to keep these effects at bay. For those that can be alleviated without exactly tampering with your addiction, train yourself good practice before it goes out of hand.