Before you engage in some quality time with your tablet or phone, hold up the device to about chest height or use a stand instead of looking down.
If you haven’t noticed, there are more and more modern health issues presenting themselves than ever before. Years ago, you didn’t have to worry about having sore thumbs from texting or some of these other modern health issues that commonly occur today due to advances in technology and fast-paced lifestyles. Take a look at some of these modern health issues you may have experienced and find out how to solve them!
1. STRAINED NECK
One of the most common modern health issues is having a strained neck from constantly looking at our smartphones or tablets. I think we’re all guilty of hunching over to read and type on our devices every chance we get. As a result of this, many more people are being diagnosed with inflammation in the tendons and joints of their elbows and neck. Before you engage in some quality time with your tablet or phone, hold up the device to about chest height or use a stand instead of looking down. Also, take breaks to stretch once in a while!
2. SORE THUMBS
If you frequently text like most of the world, you might experience some pain or soreness as a result. Having a sore thumb or thumbs is becoming increasingly common, especially in younger people. Hand surgery specialist Dr. Kenneth Means of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital warns that light pressure can be magnified up to ten times at the base of the thumb joint, causing strain with some eventually requiring surgery. Make it a habit to lightly tap the screen or keyboard when you’re typing to prevent strain and take your breaks!
3. SLEEP DISORDERS
Another health issue that has become increasingly common these days are sleep disorders. Having trouble falling asleep might not be anything new to some of us but having trouble sleeping due to our TV, smartphone or tablet screens is new. Do you curl up in bed with your iPad or phone in hand? Or maybe you’re like me and like to have the TV on plus read on a tablet. Research suggests that blue light from an LED screen disrupts our circadian rhythm and inhibits melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone). Try stretching to help you relax before bed or if you like to read, read under an incandescent light instead!
4. HEARING LOSS
I love having access to my favorite music wherever I go. Being able to listen to music or listen to audiobooks on my earbuds provides me with a temporary escape and helps me get going. The downside to this convenience is noise-related hearing loss. Listening to music, books or movies at full volume for extended periods of time can result in hearing loss. Try to limit the time you spend using earbuds and turn down the volume.
5. 24/7 LIFESTYLES
Having a 24/7 lifestyle might be viewed as glamorous or cool but it can be a health issue. These days we can hit the gym at all hours of the night, grab a meal whenever we like and even shop for groceries as the sun comes up. It might all appear to be convenient but it can be unhealthy. Leading a life where we’re staying up all night can be unhealthy according to experts. Studies show that people whose routines were not in sync with regular circadian rhythms could be more susceptible to depression, heart disease and cancer. If you have a night job or you frequently stay up late, try to keep the lights and your activity as low as possible to stay in tune with your body’s internal clock.
6. COMPUTER VISION
Another common health problem of the modern age is computer vision. Staring at a computer screen for countless hours during the day can cause all sorts of vision problems, which is called Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. Some of the symptoms of CVS are headaches, dry eyes, red eyes, blurred vision, trouble focusing and even neck or back pain. Many years ago these problems were unheard of but nowadays it’s quite commonplace. Give yourself frequent breaks and focus on something other than the computer screen every 20-30 minutes.
E-thrombosis is a condition where blood clots can form from long periods of immobility in deep veins like the legs. These blood clots can form where blood supply slows down or stops. This is something that can happen to those who frequently spend many hours in front of a computer without moving. Luckily, preventing e-thrombosis is as easy as getting up and moving around every hour. Take your breaks, avoid crossing your legs and move around to get your blood flowing!
8. STRESSED FEET
No body part is safe from these modern health issues! It turns out that our feet are also feeling the strain and heat. High heels might not be anything new in terms of fashion but being fashionable at all costs is. These days it’s not uncommon to see lots of women dressed to the nines in their heels on any given day. Consequently, podiatrists are seeing more cases of foot pain, sprains and strains. If high heels are part of your daily uniform, try working some lower heels in the rotation to give your feet a break. Doctors advise heels under 2.5 inches, and anything over 3.5 inches can cause varicose veins and stress on joints!
Did you relate to any of these modern health issues? As technology advances and our lives get even busier and more complex, there are sure to be new health issues. I think the most important tip is to avoid doing one thing for too long. Mix up your routine and give your body the breaks it needs to stay healthy and happy!