In today’s digital age, technology has become an integral part of our lives, revolutionizing the way we communicate, work, and entertain ourselves. However, the convenience and allure of technology have come at a cost—our physical well-being. With the rise of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, people of all ages are spending more time glued to screens, whether for work or leisure.
This prolonged sedentary behavior has become a prevalent issue, leading to a number of health problems, including obesity. Numerous studies have highlighted the association between excessive screen time and weight gain, prompting health experts to raise awareness about the potential dangers.
The sedentary nature of technology usage significantly reduces physical activity levels. Instead of engaging in active pursuits like outdoor sports or physical exercises, individuals find themselves absorbed in the virtual world, neglecting the importance of movement. Furthermore, extended screen time often leads to mindless snacking and poor dietary choices, as users are easily distracted and may indulge in unhealthy foods without conscious thought.
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Several factors contribute to the relationship between excessive technology use and weight gain. Ms Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – South Zone, Dietetics & Nutrition, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket explains how excessive technology use and weight gain are related.
Lifestyle Diseases Due To Weight Gain
Dr Samaddar explains, “Higher the waistline more the incidence of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, and fatty liver. Increased waistline means an increase in visceral fat or abdominal fat, which leads to insulin resistance precipitating all lifestyle diseases. Measuring waist circumference helps to assess obesity-related health risk.”
She further explains, even at a healthy weight, excess fat around the waist can increase the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A WC of higher than 80cm( 32 inches ) in women and 90cm( 36 inches) in men is considered elevated and an indication of abdominal obesity.
Exercise and eating healthy are the cornerstone for maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the waistline.
How Are Technology And Health Related?
Dr Samaddar explains, “Technology has revolutionized the world, but that revolution did not come without a price. We are all paying for it, in terms of our health. Screen time (watching TV, mobile phone use, using computers, playing video games, etc.) has increased, decreased energy expenditure as people are not walking much and become couch potatoes and/or higher consumption of snack foods/ processed foods which is available at the click of a button have all played a role.”
She further said, “Overuse or getting addicted to technology can affect mental health too with reduced sleep, low social interactions, and adding to a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. There is a multitude of negative results of the overuse of technology. Technology use can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, disturbed sleep patterns, bad postures, and back pain besides leaving us feeling isolated. However, one can use technology to whittle your waistline by using apps to track calories, stay hydrated, and count the daily steps.”
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