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June 13 - Turn Off the Electronics

The topic of electronic device use has become a heated issue in recent past. It’s affects on mental and physical health are concerns for both children and adults. Some medical professionals call sitting the new smoking due to the amount of time we spend in front of the computer, TV, cell phone, and tablet, and the damage it causes to our body. Your challenge today is to evaluate how much time you spend on electronics and set appropriate limits for your lifestyle. Not sure why you should or how to get started? Let us help.

Decreasing the use of electronic devices can set people up for success in other areas, in particular, health and fitness. A decrease in use generally means an individual will be more active or mentally productive. A decrease in use will also allow the body to reverse the musculoskeletal affects imposed when sitting hunched over – rounded shoulders, forward head and bent neck. This position of constantly looking down has created a new condition called “tech neck” or “text neck” characterized by headaches, chronic pain, and even saggy skin around the neck.

One way you can set limits is to allow only certain times of the day to check email, facebook or other social sites. Other times of the day can be designated “technology free”, such as during exercise, work or when visiting with family or friends. Another way to limit electronic use to have “no technology zones” at your work or home. For example, the dining room can be a great place to restrict cell phones and reserve for eating and conversation. Also, shut off notifications when engaged in activities that are not directly involved so that you are not distracted (i.e. driving). These simple steps will help you to avoid being so constantly involved with your phone or computer at every moment.

I am Brian Thurston, Personal Trainer at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center. I am a NASM Certified Personal Trainer with over 20 years experience specializing in corrective strategies to help restore the body’s optimal function. I personally notice that when I am not so emotionally and physically tied down to my device, I feel better. When I have spent too much time on the computer or hand held device, I take action toward stopping and restoring.