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Tech tips

3 bad tech habits that are hurting your health

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Technology can do a lot of good, but it can also have adverse effects on your physical health. A few ideas may come to mind when you think about how tech hurts your body. Maybe you think of the ways social media can hurt young girls’ body image and self-esteem, as the New York Times reports.

Or maybe you think of all the physical threats lurking around, like stalkers who can find out where you live by breaking into your accounts. Then they can follow, threaten and even attack you. Tap or click here to find out how we tracked down a man who stalked and harassed a mother-daughter duo.

We’re not talking about that stuff in this article, though. We’re talking about the actual impact your devices have on your body, like how your smartphone can hurt your pinky or your lower back hurts after sitting down too long. Without further ado, here are three bad tech habits that can harm your health.

1. Spending too much time staring at your screen

We get it: Your phone is like a wonderland. Apps of every flavor dazzle us with endless content. You have YouTube or TikTok for funny videos, Instagram for photos, Libby for reading and so much more. It’s tempting to spend hours with our necks down and eyes wide open so we don’t miss a second of stimulation.

Temporary joy can have consequences, though. You may deal with eyestrain if you spend long periods staring at your gadgets. This can cause dry eyes, blurred vision or pain in other body parts, like your neck, shoulders or back.

2. Listening to loud music for long periods of time

This is so easy to do. I’m guilty of this. When I lived in a loud apartment complex, I always turned up my headphone volume to the max to drown out my neighbors’ partying.

Luckily, I set up my iPhone to warn me when I had been listening to loud music for long enough to cause damage. Once Apple Health sent me a notification, I turned down the music for my hearing health. You can turn this on by opening the Health app > Browse > Hearing > Headphone Audio Levels.

Sadly, Android’s Google Fit app doesn’t monitor your hearing health automatically. Luckily, there are a few apps you can check out to get the job done, like Ear Health Monitor or Sound Alert.

3. Looking down for too long

Ever heard of “text spine?” Back in 2015, it was a big buzzword. It refers to the neck pain you feel from looking down at your device for too long.

There’s even a whole website dedicated to it. According to the site, text neck is “a global epidemic.” The site claims that excessive texting and looking down can lead to cervical spinal degradation.

If you spend many hours hunched over your phone, tablet or computer, you can experience pain in your neck, shoulders or back. The pain ranges, too: It may start as a nagging pain and progress into sharp sensations in your muscles. Get ready for tightness in your shoulders too.

Worse, it might even lead to arthritis, according to NBC News. You can stop it by being more conscious about using your devices. Don’t lean forward as much and stretch your neck, back, hips and legs daily. You can even start doing yoga or go to a chiropractor for a spine realignment.

Now you know how tech hurts your body. Here’s an essential healthcare tech tip

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