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Is technology affecting our health?

Is technology affecting our health or is it improving it? With our heads down, constantly looking at a screen and lights ablaze from either a laptop, tablet or a smartphone reflecting our latest findings on Google, tech is constantly at the tip of our fingers. So, is it any wonder that many think we are losing touch with the world and our surroundings?

It got me to thinking about ways that we can get re-acquainted with the world to refresh our minds and I could think of no better way than exploring the great outdoors. By taking a break and breathing in the air around us, it reminds us of how much wonder the world has to offer and it only takes a moment of us looking up to notice.

Technology in today’s digital world can be both a help and a hindrance. The advantages that technology offer include; convenience of having everything at the simple click of a button, instant search results on whatever topic intrigues you, the ability to use social media and the web to connect to as many people across the world, the ability to help people in disadvantaged countries via online appeals, access to useful resources for education and much more.

Another great example of how technology has improved the lives of others is an engineer who built a “smart” prosthetic leg and became one of three finalists to win a major UK engineering prize at the MacRobert Award. (Read here)

And how about this mind-reading machine that helps lock-in syndrome patients communicate by thinking their answers. (Read here)

But if that’s the silver lining, what are the downsides? Research shows that the disadvantages of constant tech use on your physical health could be anything from neck strain, reduced eyesight and back pain. The repercussions on your mental health can include a loss of focus, reduced attention span or an addiction to the internet.

While the benefits do largely outweigh the negatives, as with everything, technology use in moderation is the most sensible approach and an acknowledgement that while it is useful and beneficial - there are still drawbacks that we should be vigilant about.

No matter what view you may take, technology has impacted our lives on a massive scale from the ordinary things we do in life, to the extraordinary advancements changing lives. But beware of losing yourself in technology and don’t forget to look up and take a breath.

What's your relationship with technology like – do you go a day without using smart gadgets? Comment and share and let us know.

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