The number of smartphones outnumber the number of people living in this planet as most people, right from young kids to elderly people across age groups are proud owners of a mobile phone. Some even two, three or even four of these devices for multiple purposes. These 4-, 5- or 6-inch devices have become an indispensable part of our lives, Youngsters do everything right from paying pills and booking tickets to searching for houses and ordering takeout on their smartphone which leaves them with ample time for other activities but the very big question here whether they do indulge in other activities besides spending time on their smartphone. If we pause and ponder, two-wheelers and four-wheelers made life simpler which also meant less walking and movement. Now with everything just a click away we don’t even move out of our homes during weekends. Shopping is done online, vegetables and fruits are purchased via online grocery sites and we even feel content watching movies that are streamed in online movie sites or find pleasure in binge watching online series. Such incessant use of smartphones for all our activities has made us worse!
In an already-dominant world of couch potatoes the arrival of the smartphone has only worsened the situation. People who went to the banks for at least collecting or depositing money have started using online banking. Smartphones are the easiest escape route to those who wish to stay at home! Such prolonged use of smartphone paves way for sedentary behaviour, decreases physical activity in an already stagnant world, increases the risk of premature death, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and muscular problems as well.
Using your Phones for More than 3 Hours? Its Time to Put them to Rest
A recent study on the impact of prolonged use of smartphones by university students revealed its true effect on their health manifesting in the form of increased obesity risk. The study consisted of a total of 1060 students of which 700 were women and 360 were men with an average age of 19-20 years. Of the lot, men were 36% likelier to be overweight and 42% likelier to be obese. Women were 64% likelier to be overweight and 57.4% likely to be obese. Research results showed that their risk of obesity increased by as much as 43% if smartphones were used for five or more hours per day. The researchers felt the reason for such high risks was due to that all of them were habituated to eating more processed foods, drinking carbonated and sugar-sweetened beverages and performing decreased physical activity. 26% of overweight participants and 4.6% obese participants spent more than 5 hours locked up with their cell phones.
The researchers were left with a couple of unanswered questions by the end of the study-whether the participants were introverts who found pleasure spending time with their phones rather than participating in activities and whether the repeated use of digital device led to a lack of ‘self-control’ in the individuals making them crave for foods. The smartphone has made us all accept a certain level of sedentary behaviour and there are some who don’t go out for weeks finding pleasure in the four walls of the house with a smartphone in their hand.
Living without a cell phone has become unimaginable and no one’s going to give heed to such suggestions as we have surpassed the stage long back. The one thing we can do is to make productive use of the device-using it as a reminder to walk more, helping us discover our own physical activity levels, count the number of steps taken during the day, warn us if we have used too much screen time or have been too sedentary and encourage us to go out for a walk to breathe some fresh air and stay active. The smartphone can also help us note down our daily dietary intake thereby suggesting diet changes or portion changes. Technological exposure is a sure risk factor for obesity. While we cannot avoid it we can take steps to use it to our advantage as much as possible to curb rising obesity rates. Obese or overweight? Get in touch with reputed dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who can come up with healthy diet plans suiting your requirements.
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