Why is it Important to Prioritize Your Health?
In today’s technologically reliant world, it’s easy to find yourself practicing some unhealthy habits, such as having sedentary lifestyles, poor posture, digital eye strain and lack of exercise. The worst part about these unhealthy habits is that they go unnoticed by a lot of people.
Today, you are most likely required to sit and engage with your computer at work, attached to your smartphone to keep up socially and too busy or tired to practice a proper exercise routine.
Before it gets away from you, it’s time to become aware of all of the health complications that come along with those unhealthy practices and make changes to prioritize your health.
Sedentary Lifestyles and Poor Posture
As mentioned before, it’s easy to slip into a sedentary lifestyle without even realizing it. You’re sedentary more often than you think you are, whether that be while you’re in transportation, 8+ hours a day at work, eating, watching tv, using your smartphone or laptop or sleeping. If you were to add up your daily number of inactive hours compared to the number of hours you are active, you would probably be surprised to learn how sedentary you actually are. Long-term sedentary behavior can lead to weight gain, loss of muscle, slower metabolism and poor blood circulation, which all contribute to the development of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, among many other life-threatening risks.
On top of that, sitting for such long periods of time can lead to poor posture. As we engage with our smartphones and computers, we tend to lean forward towards screens, which leads to slouching or hunching and “text neck.” This can lead to neck and back pain, discomfort that affects focus, irritability, and headaches.
For these reasons, it’s important that you remain aware of how long you’ve been inactive and your posture. You can combat inactivity with a Fitbit, which will tell you when to get up and move, and by taking the stairs more often, going for walks or practicing desk exercises. You might also try desk stretches, yoga poses and investing in an ergonomic desk chair for those long 8+ hour days in order to better your posture.
Digital Eye Strain
Digital eye strain is another unhealthy result of technology that is caused by the overuse of digital devices that radiate blue light wavelengths. Engaging with screens for longer than 2 hours can cause physical discomfort, including headaches, neck and shoulder pain, irritated eyes, irritability, lack of focus and change in sleep patterns. A study by The Vision Council stated that 80% of adults have reported using digital devices for more than two hours per day and nearly 67% also reported using two or more devices at the same time. This led to 59% of adults experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain.
Although the side effects of digital eye strain are harmful to technology users, there is no avoiding screens in today’s society. Get creative and try to combat the associated negative effects and protect your eyes from blue light wavelengths by acquiring a pair of blue light glasses, using Night Shift mode on computers and smartphones and taking frequent breaks from use.
Lack of Exercise
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week. Sedentary lifestyles, poor posture and digital eye strain can hold you back from getting the recommended amount of daily exercise because of the effects they cause. Chronic discomfort, irritability and fatigue combined with busy schedules can push an exercise routine to the back burner. However, when experiencing all of those unhealthy habits, it’s more important than ever to exercise regularly because it can help to combat all of the other negative side effects. A healthy exercise routine can help you maintain weight, lower risk of disease, as well as improve mental health, mood, focus and sleep.
If you don’t already practice a regular exercise routine, now could be the time to start. You can start off slowly by implementing more activity throughout your week with walks, taking the stairs or doing a home workout. Once you feel confident, move your workout to the gym or attend an exercise class before or after work. A gradual start to a workout routine is the best way to keep you moving forward. Overextending yourself right off the bat can create a negative correlation with exercise, so take it slow and just keep on moving. Before you know it, it’ll just become a part of your day-to-day life.
Prioritizing your health is important to your overall well-being and happiness. Just by making a few simple changes in your personal life and at work, you can turn all of your bad habits around and start feeling like a better version of yourself!
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