Are MacBooks Affecting Our Health?

Computer-users around the world are aware of the symptoms that come along with too much screen time - and now they are not letting them go unnoticed.

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Computer-users around the world are aware of the symptoms that come along with too much screen time - and now they are not letting them go unnoticed.

Ashley Repar, Senior Staff Writer

With the increasing use of technology at the Academy, it’s no surprise our new Mac Books are being used all day everyday during each class. Although this technology does help to expand our learning, excessive use of our Mac Books and iPads may be starting to affect our health in more ways than one. As many people accuse technology for the cause of certain health problems, many doctors around the world have been researching this upcoming phenomenon to help technology-users avoid specific symptoms associated with too much computer time.

Internist, Svetlana Koga, M.D., is one of the doctors participating in this worldwide research. Koga states, “The technology boom is affecting our health in a major way.” Reflecting on her recent patients, Koga reports noticing many more patients suffering from everyday headaches, eye twitching, carpal tunnel, and insomnia – all of which she believes are connected to nonstop use of technology during the day.

 

After researching many health risks that derive from technology use, we picked the top three most imperative risks that most Academy girls experience from day to day:

 

  1. Our Eyes – Our eyes aren’t supposed to focus on something less than 2 feet away from us for a long period of time. Our eyes are better suited to focus on things that are farther away from us. So, looks like staring at our computer screens really aren’t the best things for our eyes. Brisbane optometry professor Nathan Efron states, “I do not consider computer screens “harmful” to our eyes, but I will admit if you use one a lot, you increase your risk of becoming slightly more short-sighted – where your eyes focus well only on close subjects while more distant objects appear blurred.” He goes on to include that this this is more common in children and young adults, as their eyes are still developing. How to Fix: For every hour you find yourself working on your Mac Book either during school or after school, take a 5 minute break from your computer and have your eyes focus on something else. Also, make sure you don’t forget to blink while working on a laptop.

 

  1. Our Brain – Some of the most common symptoms of staring at a computer screen all day are getting headaches and migraines. How to Fix: When you start to feel yourself getting a headache after staring at the computer for a while, stop using the computer and take a break to let your brain and eyes rest.

 

  1. Our Sleep – We’re all guilty of this – staying up late at night watching Netflix on the computer and never being able to fall asleep five episodes later. Late-night binge watching really CAN hinder your sleep patterns. The University of Maryland Medical Center cites excessive computer use as a definite cause of insomnia. How to Fix: Make sure you limit your amount of technology use at night before you go to bed, so, no more late night Netflix.

 

Academy girls are also noticing this occurring health phenomenon during the school week and even on the weekends. Sophomore Evelyn Martinez believes that she gets headaches from the Mac that could possibly be stress-related. She explains, “I use my Mac Book every single day in every single one of my classes. I don’t normally get headaches from staring at the screen, but on days where I haven’t gotten enough sleep or am really stressed out, I definitely think I get headaches from my computer.” When asked if she thinks Mac Books will start to affect our health, Martinez says, “I definitely think having more technology will affect our health overtime. Having our Mac Books makes it easier to watch Netflix all night and not get enough sleep.”

 

Along with Academy girls, people around the world are beginning to notice the irritating symptoms that come along with a day full of staring at a laptop: