First of all I’m going to start off by saying: No I did not try and eat my iPhone to see if it had any nutritional value…
I want to talk about how much our phones have evolved over the years and have arguably become an essential item for the day-to-day lives of over a quarter of the world’s population. I also want to look at how it has changed our behaviour and how we communicate with one and other within our society because of our phones. I also want to look at the effect this has on people’s health and fitness.
Over 1.75 billion of us have smart phones! We live in a time where you can do just about do anything on them. I have all my music and social media sites; I can check my bank balance, watch TV and movies on demand, I can even order a takeaway with just a few clicks of a button (which I’ve definitely never done, if Maxine asks!) It feels like my phone has everything I need right in my pocket.
But this got me thinking: are we so connected to our phones that we have been slightly disconnected to reality? How many times have you seen people out on a date or just out for dinner, who are more interested in what’s on their phones rather than the person sitting opposite them? Have you noticed we’ve been invaded by zombie-like phone droids, who walk around focusing on their phones while crossing the roads instead of paying attention to their own safety?
When asking myself how connected to my iPhone I am, I came to a sudden realisation of how dependent on my phone I really was. It shocked me when I realised how much my life revolves around my phone. It is very rare that there is a moment in the day where my phone is out of arm’s reach. It will be the last thing I look at night and the first thing I look at when I wake up in the morning. This led me to the question: am I addicted to my phone? And is that a bad thing?
Personally, I have taken measures to separate myself from my phone by switching it off and popping it in my drawer while I’m working or trying to be productive. If I don’t take these measures I find I can easily be distracted from the task at hand and go completely off track just from the little “ding” you hear when you receive a text. I’ve found putting my phone literally out of reach really does help me to be more productive throughout the day.
We constantly give our phones requests, either to send emails, to give us updates on the news, or to direct us to a destination. But in return, it feels like we have become enslaved by our phones without realising. This raises the question: do we have as much control over our phones as we think, or are we being controlled by our phones?
So you might be thinking, this has nothing to do with health and fitness Charlie, and where’s the gun show?! (The gun show is slowly but surely on the way, you’ll be pleased to learn…)
Well, in my opinion my generation has grown up to use smart phones to an unhealthy extent. According to mobilestatistics.com the average person spends 90 minutes a day on our phones – that’s 23 days a year and 3.9 years of our life spend staring at a screen! Just think what you could’ve been doing with that time!
Social Media and Smart Phones can also play a big part in causing confusion. At the touch of a button you can search a variety of things, including weight loss, nutrition, exercise etc. Now this is fantastic and in so many ways benefits people as well as companies like Potential and it’s Clients. But on the downside it leaves a lot of people feeling confused (sometimes even more so than when they first began this search). There is a lot of information out there: Varying from the fantastic to the downright terrible… and this is when I think it can become an issue. We have too much trust in these small devices and can end up following the wrong information, which can lead to poor health or an unbalanced diet.
My final point will be a quick one: You will have probably heard about apps which supposedly help people to track both their Nutrition and Fitness. Now I’m not knocking these apps, I am sure that there are some really great ones out there which help a lot of people. But there is one simple fact:
THIS APP IS NOT GOING TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU!
They only work when you have the incentive to do that work yourself…
I would be really interested to know what you think. How much time do you spend with your phone? Could you benefit by putting yours away for a while through the day? And do you feel it has had an impact on your Health and Fitness? Either positively or negatively?
Email any responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be interested to read them!