Take one look at any major news outlet’s website and you will certainly see at least one article bemoaning the supposed terror technology has unleashed on our collective health. Hosts of “experts” will place chronic neck pain, poorer sleep, and lagging relationships as the frontrunners of technology’s many sins.
However, what if the experts have it completely wrong? What if technology has, instead, improved our health?
Take, for example, the many apps available for your smartphone. Apps today run the gamut of fun to helpful to outright life-changing. Apps like MyFitnessPal and Lose It! help millions of users track calories, log exercise, educate themselves, and connect with others looking to become healthier. Fitness apps send reminders to utilize the functionality, and this accountability often results in lifestyle changes that stick.
Fitness apps top the large iceberg of available smartphone capabilities to aid in improving health. Even something as simple as the calendar function of a device allows users to plan exercise routines, set alarms, and practice foresight. The improved connectivity from social media also allows each and every user looking for personal motivation to find someone else searching for the same thing. Finding a workout partner, weightlifting buddy, or someone with the same health obstacles as you has never been easier.
It seems that everyone owns a smartphone, but wearable fitness technology grows more and more each year. Today, a variety of smart gadgets help millions of people count their steps, track their calories, and live healthier lives.
Beyond the simple hardware of a Garmin watch, a Fitbit, or a Jawbone, the software of these products contain a strong list of assets. Most of the newest fitness trackers don’t even require the wearer to indicate when exercise begins: automatic tracking, categorizing, and calorie-counting occurs every moment of every day.
That kind of data provides unique benefits: users see their habits, their trends, and their future trajectories. If knowledge is power, then technology has opened the door for individuals to take control of their health and well being with personalized data on a day to day basis. Without personalized fitness technology, this kind of data would simply not be possible.
Technology has improved and molded the way injury and sickness are treated. X-rays and CAT scans, modern medicines and health information management are all made more efficient through the advances of technology.
So while we may rely on the automatic luxuries that technology brings far more often than we should, it transforms our health habits for the better in some areas. From eating to sleeping, walking to lifting, connecting to sharing, technology can positively revolutionize the relationship we have with our own bodies.