Do you perceive computer use to be beneficial to your health or harmful? I find computer use to be very stressful, but I will admit to being technologically challenged! While I value having email communication and being able to access research easily, I get pretty frustrated with social media and updating my website (which it’s currently in dire need of). There are many recognized health risks associated with computer use, but I wanted to find out specifically if there is an association with computer use and stress (do other people feel the same way I do?) and is it possible that there are health benefits.
Time spent in front of the computer (or other screens) is one of the lifestyle factors I look at when I’m assessing my clients. Reasons for asking this question can include structural or postural issues, headaches, sleep problems, electromagnetic hypersensitivity and being overweight. If this sounds like you then here's a blog offering some solutions: http://wellnessmama.com/25655/health-risks-of-computers/ . As a practitioner I’m usually looking at how computer use negatively influences health.
One study looked at a over 4000 20-24 year olds. Medium (2-4 hours/day) and high (>4 hours/day) computer use was associated with sleep disturbances in men. Medium gaming (1-2 hours/day) was associated with depression in women (Source).
Another study done by the same researchers looked at mobile phone use and found that high use among men was associated with sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression, and was associated with depression in women (Source)
While these studies aren’t making direct associations with stress, when people are sleep deprived it affects our ability to cope with stress.
I couldn’t find a lot of current research otherwise. A lot of research was done in the early 90s, but I think computer use has changed significantly enough that research needs to be updated.
Are there any? I searched for research into benefits of computer use, expecting to find some, but I couldn’t find any. I thought there might be studies looking at social connections, but if they are out there I couldn’t find them.
So I’m asking YOU. Do you feel that computer use benefits your health? Emotionally? Mentally? Physically? Spiritually?
It challenges me mentally. Even though it’s stressful for me, the flip side is that I have to learn new things to succeed in the computer tasks I want to accomplish. Hopefully that means some new neuropathways are being formed in that brain of mine.
Let me know if you have experienced any health benefits you think are a result of your computer use.
Happy, Healthy Computer Use!