Is the stress of modern technology killing us early?

This is how to use technology wisely, according to Social Scientist Dr Ali Walker.

It’s like a scene from a zombie movie.

In parks, restaurants and lecture halls, on footpaths and public transport, everyone is staring – transfixed – at their digital devices.

The blue glow of the screen now appears to be a permanent reflection in our eyes.

Modern technology, particularly in the form of digital devices, is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it offers us convenience and freedom, with instant access to information and a seemingly personalised life experience.

On the other hand however, it is turning us into technology addicts with a range of serious side effects, including insomnia, weight gain, eye and spinal damage, neck and shoulder pain and short-term memory loss.

When the virtual world is contained in our hand-held devices, the “real” world of face-to-face encounters, conversations, community, and connectedness starts to lose our attention.

In addition, there is considerable public debate about whether the electromagnetic radiation contained in most devices is toxic to our bodies and brains.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B)” based on a slightly increased risk for glioma in heavy users.

Glioma is a malignant type of brain cancer associated with wireless phone use.

The Australian Cancer Council maintains that there is no correlation between mobile phones and brain cancer and recommends “continued monitoring of both brain cancer trends and new evidence from studies in humans and laboratory animals.”

It’s clear however that tech addiction is a bigger issue for us than the potential risk of cancer.

When it comes to technology, it’s best to stay safe on all fronts. Avoid the tech addiction by setting strict boundaries around use of devices, use the loudspeaker on your phone as much as possible, leave phones in another room while sleeping, and turn WiFi off at night to give our bodies a rest from “dirty” electricity.

Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more expert health advice from Zoe, Ed, and the team.