While the modern age has brought with it rapid advancements in healthcare for a range of different illnesses and afflictions, it has also brought with it new challenges which were not so prominent in days gone by. Our switch to a more automated and computerised society has given us a myriad of work and entertainment options, but it has also made us more sedentary and less likely to get the exercise we need. The prevalence of fast food and delivery options at the touch of a button is something that couldn’t have been imagined in the past, but obesity figures continue to climb higher. These are just a couple of examples of how life has changed, and now we will go into more detail about a few of the other health issues that have occurred.
Computer Vision Syndrome
Both our work and leisure activities now tend to revolve around staring at a screen. It has been shown that this could increase your risks of developing computer vision syndrome (CVS) or occupational asthenopia. A few of the most common symptoms associated with this condition include headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, trouble focusing, sensitivity to light, and pain in the neck or back. Some of the factors which can worsen CVS include glare on the screen, poor lighting, and a poor workstation setup. You should be aiming to keep your monitor around two feet away from you and six inches below eye level. Position it directly in front of you to reduce eye movement. Fix the lighting in the room to get rid of any glare or reflections on the screen. Simply taking a break from staring and your screen every 20 to 30 minutes can be a big help. Try to focus on something far away from the screen during this time. If your eyes feel especially dry, some drops can be particularly helpful.
Earbud-Related Hearing Damage
So many of us play out music through earbuds without a second thought, but you could potentially be causing damage to your hearing by turning up the volume too high. You are especially likely to turn up the sound when the background noise is particularly loud. As a result of this, younger people are developing the type of hearing-related issues which are typically associated with older adults. The first and most obvious step that you can take is to turn down the volume. As well as this, you can limit the amount of time that you spend listening to your music during the day. Investing in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones may also be helpful, so you don’t feel the need to turn up your music so loud.
At the start of the article, we talked about how problematic it can be that people spend so much of their time sitting at a desk. This is especially the case if you add other unhealthy lifestyle choices like drinking too much alcohol, eating fast food and smoking into the mix. If the latter applies to you, you may want to look into vaping options instead, so click here. Back to sitting at a desk, e-thrombosis basically refers to the development of clots in the deep veins of people who sit for too long at a computer. This is essentially related to deep vein thrombosis, and while it is not a widely reported condition, it is still important that you take steps to increase your movement and mobility. You should aim to stand up and move around at least once every hour. Give yourself an excuse to do this by making yourself a drink or keeping some supplies on the other side of your office that you need to get. Rather than spending your lunch break sitting at your desk, go out for a walk instead. You could even set yourself a reminder to give you a nudge when it is time to move your body.
Generalised Anxiety Disorder
While we all have worries and things that cause us stress during our lives, generalised anxiety disorder refers to excessive anxiety about common things in everyday life such as health, money, family or work. Often these worries are unrealistic or out of proportion to the situation, and they could get so extreme that daily functioning is impaired. Although anxiety disorders have always been around, there is some evidence to suggest that they have been exacerbated by modern-world factors such as smartphones, social media, and widespread rolling news stories. If you feel like you are suffering from generalised anxiety disorder, you should speak with your doctor at the earliest possible opportunity.
Blue Light Insomnia
If you are prone to watching TV late in the evening or checking your phone in the middle of the night, you may well be contributing to a range of sleep disorders such as insomnia. The biological clock in our brains, otherwise known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus, can be thrown totally out of whack by the blue light of a smartphone which is similar to daylight. Just a few glances can cause levels of the sleep hormone melatonin to drop significantly. The most effective way to combat this problem is by removing all electronic devices from your bedroom. Try some less stimulating activities before going to sleep like practising yoga, reading a book or listening to some relaxing music. Essentially, you want to be getting your body clock back on track again so that it is clear when you should be awake and when you should be sleeping.
These are just five of the health risks associated with the modern age. Thankfully, there are things that you can do about each one of them. While the solutions may seem like common sense to you, they can be effective in tackling the issues that have been discussed. While technology has brought with it a host of positive factors, we just need to be wary of the negative impacts as well, so we are ready to deal with them.