How to Stay Healthy in An Age of Technology
It is fair to say that technology has had a massive impact in the way we as a society work, rest and play. When once we were a physical species who toiled manually to earn our way through life, the advent of mechanisation, first through the industrial age and then more recently through the digital age, has radically altered not just how we work, but the effects that this has upon the body.
The move from a more physical lifestyle to a more sedentary one has had several notable impacts on our society. At work now, we are less active, which has played a part in the startling decline in physical fitness of our society. Work-related injuries have also changed from the likes of sprains and strains, into back problems caused by sitting too long in one position, migraines from staring at computer monitors all day long and repetitive strain injury for typing too long on a keyboard.
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It is tempting to think therefore that technology is the root cause of the general decline in society’s health and fitness, yet that is a somewhat misguided and spurious assumption. While our lifestyle may now be more sedentary, there are a host of other factors, pressures on time, the quality of the typical ‘western’ diet, the cost of gym club membership and more that have all contributed towards a fall in our standard of health.
Indeed, there is a strong argument that advances in technology can help us regain our fitness in simple and practical ways and it is certainly true that technology has advanced our knowledge on health and fitness markedly over the past four or five decades. As a result of this, we are now in a better position than ever to exercise control over what we eat, when we exercise and the activities we do in order to lead a better and more fulfilling life.
So the question is, how can we stay healthy in an age of technology? And to answer this fully, we need to consider many different aspects of our working life, fitness, diet, lifestyle and attitude.
If you have a job that sees you sat down for long periods, working at a computer as many people now do, then it is important that you can recognise how this can impact upon your health. Studies have shown that using a workstation can lead to conditions such as RSI (repetitive strain injury), while gazing all day at a monitor screen can lead to macular degeneration, headaches and more.
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Furthermore there is evidence that being sat all day can be particularly debilitating for your back and be the direct cause of many back-related problems and there are even those who suggest being sat all day can cause issues with respiration, deep vein thrombosis and many more worrying conditions.
To stay healthy, you need to work into your schedule a chance to have a break from your computer screen every so often, even if it is just to visit the lavatory, have a drink, or take a brisk walk around the office. Ensure your chair is ergonomically designed, to offer you crucial support and while sitting, take time to exercise the muscles in your legs, very much as you are advised to do when sat on a long plane journey.
Technology has played a key role in improving our understanding of fitness and there are now many ways you can utilise technology to keep you fit. Many people who enjoy jogging or walking will find that an MP3 Music player is the perfect accompaniment on their training, while if you prefer to exercise at home, you can use games consoles, such as the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 to help improve fitness levels thanks to a wide number of different interactive games that will get you up and about.
The development of specialist equipment at the gym, such as treadmills and cross trainers will also help you not just get fitter, but target specific exercises aimed at improving a certain type of your health. For example, one program on the cross trainer may help you lose weight, another will help you improve your muscular endurance. Another way to get fit is with a type of self defense or martial arts (not MMA) called Krav Maga and if you live in Southern California, it's easy to find a great Krav Maga San Diego school for this type of Israeli-originating fighting style.
In terms of diet, the crucial thing to stay fit in this technological age is to understand that a typical ‘western’ diet is high in saturated fats and sugars and these are the fitness wreckers that can stymie even the best fitness program.
You can and must supplement the work you do at work, at home or at the gym by eating a healthy diet, cutting down on the sweet, sugary and fatty processed foods, and eating foods that are lower in these poor nutrients, but which contain more of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals the body needs to work faster and harder for longer (read a range of yeastrol here).
Another key change to make when trying to stay healthy in the technological age is to your lifestyle. In an age when everything is focused on not having to get up and about, it is important you readjust your thinking to do the opposite.
Don’t take the car on the trip to the shops, walk. Don’t take the elevator or escalator if there are steps you can easily walk up. Swap that late night glass of wine and biscuit with cheese for something healthier. Don’t play a computer game that requires no motion other than your fingers, fire up the Wii and get friends and family involved in a more active, energetic game. Incidentally, if you are getting serious about your health and, for example, are determined to quit smoking, you should read this outstanding South Beach Smoke Review on electronic cigarettes.
Last, but by no means any less important than any of the other items on this list, is attitude. Your attitude will determine whether you can stay fit and healthy in the technological age. The truth of the matter is, it isn’t technology, work, life or diet that makes you unhealthy, it is your attitude towards them that combines the factors into either a positive healthy issue, or a negative unhealthy one.
Improving your attitude, changing your habits and making the effort to use technology to help you work effectively and efficiently for longer, rather than as a means to avoid doing work and taking the easy option, can bring about the lifelong positive change you want for your health in the new digital age.