Over the years, the use of mobile phones has crept in more and more for most people. All you need to do is spend a little time looking around you on the bus, at a cafe, or even on the street to see just how ubiquitous they are.
The question is, are mobile phones and other digital devices always positively impacting our lives? There's plenty of research emerging to suggest that the use of mobile phones and other devices can negatively impact our physical and mental health. A great paper by the American Psychological Association goes into depth on the topic.
While the reasoning behind reducing use makes sense, breaking the habit can be a little harder. We've come to rely on phones as our information hubs, connections to family and friends, work stations and even our source of entertainment. There's no doubt that technology has far-reaching benefits, but it's undeniable that there are potential harms as well.
Taking time away from devices will contribute to living a healthy lifestyle. We believe that understanding the benefits will drive change. So here are a few:
Stress reduction: we may not be aware of it, but being able to access emails, messages, and the internet anytime can create stress. it means we are never truly switching off and giving ourselves moments of peace and rest from the busyness of the world, which in turn creates stress. How many times in a day are you properly disconnected from work, emails, messages and so on?
Better sleep: looking at a screen will stimulate the brain, therefore making it harder to unwind for sleep. In addition, the blue light that is emitted from devices can affect the release of melatonin, again making it harder to sleep.
Connectedness: in many ways, our devices are helping us to stay connected to friends, family, and work colleagues and even helping us meet new people. That being said, they are also cutting into face-to-face human interaction. There is no substitute for being in the presence of another person to truly connect, read body language and share an experience. Stepping away from devices and making a concerted effort to engage with a person without the screen is always going to be more fulfilling than conversing over a device.
At Good & Fugly, we believe health needs to be approached holistically. Good health is comprised of many elements such as a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, exercise, stress management, and healthy realtionships, just to name a few. Perhaps the use of your digital devices isn't something you have given much thought to, but trying to reduce the time on them, may have a greater impact than you may realise!