How to Avoid Technology-Related Stress and Health Issues
Technology has plenty of upsides and generally makes our lives a little easier, but it can also sometimes have a negative impact on us. Too many people spend so much time on their computers, they have little time for much else in their lives, and this can have adverse effects on their health and happiness. Here are some tips for avoiding common technology-related problems.
Take a Break from Technology
Using technological devices usually involves prolonged periods of sitting, which is bad for your health. Research has shown that those who regularly spend the majority of their time sitting have an increased risk of various health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease. For the sake of your health, make sure you don’t spend several hours at a time too engrossed in the television or internet to move. Get up and walk around every now and then. If your job involves sitting in front of a computer all day, take a few breaks and try doing some simple stretches at your desk.
Set Aside Some Gadget-Free Time
It’s easy to pass every evening browsing on your computer or tablet, but this isn’t always the best way to spend your time. Constantly using gadgets can give you an unhealthy dependency on them, which leaves you feeling under-stimulated at times when you’re not using high-tech devices. If you’re finding it difficult to put your laptop down, try easing yourself into gadget-free time with baby steps. This may simply involve leaving your smartphone hidden away in the car while you go shopping in the supermarket. Later, you can work up to spending some quality technology-free time doing other fulfilling activities such as reading a book or taking a walk in the park.
De-Tech Your Bedroom
Your bedroom is supposed to be a place of rest so keep the gadgets out of it. Research has shown that using light-emitting devices, such as TVs and laptops, shortly before you sleep suppresses your body’s production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. This makes it harder for you to get a good night’s sleep, preventing you from feeling well-rested and refreshed the next day. Getting enough good-quality sleep is important, so try to stop using these gadgets at least an hour before bedtime. This includes your mobile phone – keep it out of arms reach once you get into bed. Any alerts that make the screen glow may interfere with your sleep if you keep it close by.
Manage Your Email Better
Trying to keep up with a constant stream of emails can be difficult, and may leave you stressed and unable to relax. Instead of compulsively checking your inbox, try to designate specific times when you’ll look through your messages – maybe once every few hours. If you need to, change the settings on your email program so that you don’t get pop-up alerts.
Keep Distractions at Bay During Work
Letting the internet disrupt your work life is another thing that will inevitably lead to stress, as it will only have a negative impact on your work performance. If you work on a computer, it can be all too easy to give in to the lure of Facebook, but there are certain web browser extensions you can use to avoid distractions. For example, browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox offer you the option of add-ons which increase your productivity by allowing you to block certain sites or certain types of web content at particular times of the day.
Technology is great but you can have too much of a good thing. Get the most out of your devices by using them sensibly, rather than becoming so fixated on them that they leave you tired and unfocused. It’s important to be able to enjoy gadget-free time as much as you enjoy curling up with your tablet or smartphone.
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