Technology has historically been associated with making us lazier and less physically active. The invention of computers and the internet meant a major reduction in the amount of work needed to be done. The death of rental stores like Blockbuster came with an increase in the ability to just get movies on demand.
But the era of smart technology is turning things around. Technology is shifting from the clunky, stationary machines of yesteryear to the sleek, mobile devices of today. More than that, we’re increasingly aware of the dangers that an inactive life can have and together, we’re taking steps to correct that.
Wearable technology is doing its part to help us get up and get moving. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and accompanying apps on our phones help us stay motivated to get moving and reach our goals. They can also help us review our behaviors.
Beyond just tracking movement, there are also apps that allow us to input our diet and track our caloric intake. Newer apps even help us track our vitamins and minerals because just eating enough calories isn’t enough to maintain a healthy body.
By keeping track of what we eat and how much activity we’re getting, technology helps us lose or maintain our weight while improving in areas we might be lacking. It also saves us money, as much of this advice would have required a nutritional consultation in the past with a highly paid professional.
It’s no mystery that stress is a major contributor to poor health. While there are many ways that technology can contribute to stress, it can also help. A number of apps and inventions exist for the sole purpose of making our lives that much less complicated.
For instance, sleep tracking has gained popularity because countless studies link poor sleep habits to poor health. Most modern wearables can track heart rate and breathing, but there are even some beds such as the Sleep Number that can do the exact same thing. Plotting out the data gives you a good idea of how you’re sleeping and how you can improve.
Other tech focuses on erasing problems caused by technology. A major source of stress is identity theft and other types of cybercrime. Security apps help us feel safer by reducing or removing threats.
Anti-virus apps protect us from malware, Virtual Private Networks protect us from hackers over WiFi and anti-theft apps help us locate or disable our devices if they go missing or are stolen.
As 2016 showed us, it’s possible for apps to encourage outdoor activity in a way never thought possible. When Pokémon Go was released, millions of smartphone users took to the wilds to go hunt for virtual creatures in a game that puts the player in the real world.
And as popular as it was, Pokémon Go wasn’t the first instance of apps getting people out into the real world to get some needed exercise. Geocaching is another fun activity that’s been around for a while, where users hide real objects around the world and other users follow the clues and GPS to reach said items just like an old fashion scavenger hunt.
These types of activities are physically and mentally rewarding and are just basic examples of how technology can be used both for fun and for health.
But what about you? Has technology helped you live a healthier life? Tell us how you’re utilizing tech to make your life just a bit better each day.
About the Author: Cassie is a health enthusiast and cyber security blogger. As a writer, she enjoys talking about the latest gadgets and apps, particularly if they have something to offer regarding activity and the outdoors.