Are Your Hi-Tech Habits Making You Ill?
Essentials|December 2015
Are Your Hi-Tech Habits Making You Ill?
Alice Whitehead uncovers nine ways our addiction to computers, tablets and phones affects our health as well as our social lives.
Alice Whitehead

1. BEING A TECH POTATO

Unless your gadget of choice is an exercise bike or fitness tracker, it’s likely your personal tech is making you more sedentary. No need to walk to the shops, as we can order groceries online, and swap dinner or drinks with friends for a night in with ‘The Sims’. ‘Our reliance on technology to contact each other leads to a lot less physical activity,’ says Dr Ian Campbell, GP and obesity specialist. ‘What’s more, eating in front of a TV or PC can increase our kilojoule intake as we get distracted and ignore the fact that we are full.’

2. BECOMING MINDLESS AT MEALTIMES

Desktop lunches can play havoc with our digestion, too, says nutritionist Sarah West. ‘Food mindfulness is key as it ensures proper digestion and increases food memory. Distracted eating leads to an array of problems,’ she the digestive process, so if you gulp down your meal hastily, the stomach must excrete more acid than normal, leading to acid indigestion.’

3. ADOPTING THE HI-TECH HUNCH

Bending over your tablet or phone might not seem like a major health risk, but it’s thought just two hours a day can lead to neck and back problems. In the longer term, posture problems can lead to poor bone health and increased risk of fracture. ‘A sedentary lifestyle and, in particular, a lack of regular weight bearing exercise, is associated with low bone mass and osteoporosis,’ says Dr Karen Hind, an exercise and bone health researcher.

4. TWIDDLING YOUR THUMBS

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December 2015