At the 25th annual ISPA Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media and sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, opened the show with an inspiring keynote talk about technology trends. However, she also added that one of the biggest trends for the wellness industry is that of ‘Unplug to Refresh.’
While noting that technology has hugely improved our lives, Zuckerberg suggested that our habits with technology may not always be healthy, and giving people a safe place to unplug will become increasingly important. ‘Unplugging is going to become a huge industry, with things like mind gyms and technology detoxes becoming increasingly important.’
While there’s no question that our devices are necessary and can also improve our health and fitness (1,000 steps and meditation apps for instance), being on 24/7 simply isn’t healthy.
According to data gathered by the makers of the smartphone app Locket, we check our phones more than 110 times a day, and according to an Oxford Internet, Survey people spend an average of 1000 hours on the web year. Excessive screen time is thought to affect our brain and our vision and can lead to muscle and joint issues such as RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Feeling fatigued, burnt out, or having problems sleeping? The key to good health has always been ‘everything in moderation.’
Our smartphones can also be a pain in the neck – literally! The phrase ‘Text neck’ describes neck problems and pain caused by people overusing handheld devices. When our head is dropped forward, our shoulders are rolled forward and our chest collapsed inward resulting in long-term body pain issues. Not to mention our addiction to tech promotes a sedentary lifestyle.
Studies show that digital detox will help lower blood pressure, improve better sleep patterns, and improve mental wellbeing. Research carried out at the University of Utah and Kansas revealed that people scored 50% better on creativity tests after being out in nature for four days with no access to electronic devices. We need digital downtime just to self-reflect and be.
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We are now seeing the rise of wifi-free rooms, digital-detox and off-the-grid retreats. Even a one or two-hour treatment is such a great way to unplug and recharge. Unplugging will become a cornerstone of living a healthy life like exercise and eating well.
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Here are suggestions of how to disengage and replenish.
Power Down Early:
Sleep disorder can also be triggered by too much screen time as the blue light stimulates our brain, so leave your ‘tweeting till the morning.’ Further on, our mind organizes thoughts and memories during the night-time; a process we seriously affect when exposing it to multiple images just before closing our eyes. Therefore, make sure you have a few hours of digital free time before you go to bed. Moreover, it is recommended to get an alarm and leave the mobile phone outside the bedroom.
Magnesium chelate taken at night before sleep can help support deeper sleep patterns. It has a deeply calming effect on our central nervous system, to help counter the digital stimulation in our mind-bodies.
During The Day:
Every 20 minutes, stand up, roll your shoulders and neck or go for a short walk to improve blood flow.
Raise your smartphone to your eye level (standing or sitting). Easy, the rest of your body will realign, including your neck. Fix your posture now! Or potentially suffer from neck and spinal problems in your older years.
Deep Abdominal Breathing:
Take regular moments to stop, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose into your abdomen and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
Eat Your Greens:
Eat foods high in Chlorophyll include kale, spinach, and broccoli they are thought to help flush out heavy metals.
Stop the tweet and reconnect. Set aside some digital-free time on a daily basis (especially when you are with friends and family). If you can, one day a week will make you feel so refreshed.
Include a walk in nature once a week, helps to ground, refresh, and reboot your mind and body from the digital effects.