Technology makes our lives easier and more convenient. People work at computers instead of in fields, and many find screens as good a source of entertainment as anything you could do outdoors. However, as technology plays more of a role in our daily lives, the concerns over a sedentary lifestyle increase.
A normal day for both children and adults might involve sitting at a desk for eight hours, then coming home and watching television, playing video games, or browsing social media. According to the CDC, nearly half of American adults don’t meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for aerobic activity.
We know that technology can be bad for us, but can technology improve your health? While technology makes it easier for people to live sedentary lifestyles, technology can also do a lot to promote good health.
Wearable technology – such as smart watches or fitness trackers – can benefit your health. These wearable devices track information such as sleep patterns, steps taken, heart rate, active minutes, and many other aspects relating to your health.
While strapping a fitness tracker to your wrist won’t make you healthy, these devices can encourage a healthy lifestyle. Monitoring things such as exercise and sleep provides you with information that can help you make healthy lifestyle changes.
Fitness trackers may also provide information that could be useful to communicate to your primary care physician.
There are several health apps or fitness apps that can help promote a healthy lifestyle. As with fitness trackers, an app alone won’t make you healthy. They can however provide motivation or encourage you to eat a healthy diet, spend more time exercising or being physically active, or adopt healthy habits.
For many of us, having a friendly (or not so friendly — there are plenty of choices out there) reminder from our phones that it’s time to exercise, grab a glass of water, or get another few hundred steps to meet our goals can make us take action.
Access to health information
There is a lot of good health information available at your finger tips. You can find answers to just about any question you have on the internet. It’s important, however, to recognize the difference between good and bad health information online.
Consider things such as the credibility of the website. Is the information coming from a known and respected health organization or an individuals private blog? Is the information supported by sources, or are there bold claims with no support?
You should never look to the internet to try and self-diagnose a medical condition, but more information can be empowering. Visit your own doctor’s website or rely on organizations you can trust.
Better treatment options
Technology greatly improves healthcare. Without constantly improving medical technology, we wouldn’t have X-ray imaging, MRI scanners, EKGs, prosthetics, CT scans and many other instruments physicians use to diagnose, treat, and research health conditions. Medical equipment improves as technology improves, and patient care gets better in the process.
The myMANA patient portal is a perfect example of how technology improves your health. Patient portals capitalize on the convenience of technology, offering 24-hour access from any remote location with an internet connection. You can securely access health information, request appointments with your doctor on the go, request a prescription refill, communicate with your physician, and otherwise manage your health information.
So can technology improve your health? It certainly gives us tools that complement a healthy lifestyle. It is important to remember, however, that technology is not a replacement for your primary healthcare provider. Fitness trackers, health apps, and online search engines can be useful, but physicians are essential for proper healthcare. Request an appointment with a MANA doctor today!