Originally posted By NWI, Monday, November 7, 2016
By Chris Andrews
Managing Director, Personal Touch Fitness
Let’s talk about electronic devices and social media. Have you encountered someone nearly bumping into you walking down the street because their head was looking at their mobile device and not concentrating on where they were going? Instead, their concentration is on a perceived important message that they ‘need’ to reply right then and there. It seems extraordinary if you think about it without even mentioning the strain on the muscles in the neck, eyes, and fingers. Give your body a break. Prevent an accident or incident by enjoying the surroundings and appreciate your environment.
Your health and wellbeing is more important and we should all consider where, when, and why you need to be on an electronic device for a majority of waking hours. Do you really want to be available 24/7? I wouldn’t recommend it. There is a time and place for their use. Are you overusing it? Before the mobile phone, people were able to connect. Yes, it took longer but was that a bad thing? The stress contributes to mental wellbeing problems due to over-use. Now, it is ruling our lives and eventually, it will take a toll on our health. The young generation is on electronic devices at an early age. Whilst we need to know how to use devices to keep up with the ever-changing world, we need to consider the impact on our health and wellbeing. It will affect us all. Eventually. One way or another. Issues can be emotional, physical or even financial by keeping up with the latest version.
We need to talk to one another face-to-face and engage in a conversation. Take note how many family gatherings everyone is glued to their electronic devices. You may have children over to play or for a sleep-over and they are all on their phones taking selfies, playing games, or searching the internet. If boundaries are given or devices taken away–you are a “mean” parent.
Have you taken time to understand how many hours you or your children spend on electronic devices and do you have a cut-off time each day when you turn-off? Do you lead by example? Is it time to take stock and digitally detox for your health and wellbeing?
Time Apart: Put your devices out of sight instead of leaving it on the counter where you can see messages and notifications. Put them in a cupboard or drawer.
- Holidays: These are what they say. A holiday is to relax and recharge ourselves. Put the phone away.
- Buy an alarm clock: Don’t rely on a phone to wake you up otherwise it becomes the first thing you check morning and night.
- Have a cut-off time in the evening when you switch-off devices stick to it.
Challenge yourself on your behaviors and why you may spend a lot of time on devices and how does it make you feel? Things can be easily misconstrued and come across completely different on texts, email, and social media. If someone really is interested in you, they should speak to you.
If you start changing behaviors slowly you might be surprised the amount of time you originally spent on electronic devices. You may find that the time you save can amount to a few hours a day. This will enable valuable family and friends time actually talking to one another, playing ‘real’ games or going on a cycle ride. You may find you are able to fit in more exercise or mediate, read your favourite book or plan and prepare healthy meals. Takeaways and unhealthy diets are usually blamed on a lack of time. Think about the changes that you could make in your lifestyle for your health & wellbeing as you grow older and prevent that accident on the pavement or stresses and strains on the body! The answer isn’t always, "There is an app for that"!
Chris has been the MD of Personal Touch Fitness (PTF) for 16 years in the UK, having completed her Wellness studies at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus. Chris prides herself in her passion, enthusiasm and expertise in providing fitness services in the corporate environment which is extended through the company values, ethos and to the employees. With almost 22 years of experience, many leading PTF, she has learned what works and what does not. Her energy drives her tireless quest to improve her clients’ health and fitness. Chris has given PTF clients the confidence to harness her skills to lead Facilities and Service Provider workshops as well as formulate and promote client Wellbeing Strategies.