Please welcome Andie to the blog! She is a city girl with a small town heart who is passionate for real food, and an advocate for total body wellness. As a freelance writer, she has a lot of experience with healthy computer use and is here to share the latest research on the topic with us!
Computers… millions of Americans own them. Toddlers, the elderly, and practically everyone in between can access them with ease. They have become one of the best inventions and innovations, revolutionizing the world we live in today. But all of this technology comes with a price. And no, I am not just talking about the cost to purchase a computer. I am talking about the toll it can take on one’s health, when certain precautions aren’t used. The average American spends anywhere from eight to eleven hours each day staring at a screen, whether it be a computer, a tablet, a television, or a phone. 1.
Technology has allowed us to reach places and connect with people all over the world with just a few clicks of a button. Skype, Instant Message, Facebook, Twitter, blogs (like this one!), and more… we all enjoy them, and our lives our greatly enriched because of them, but what kind of havoc are all of the electromagnetic fields (EMF), hours of poor posture, and constant blue light exposure reeking on our bodies?
Now, I don’t say all of this to make you afraid, or to scare you away from screens all together… after all, if that were the case, you would not be reading my blog post! This article is simply meant to inform you on some of the various ways that you can enhance your computer, and other screen time, with the goal of health in mind.
In summary, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) consist of both electric and magnetic components, resulting from the motion of an electric charge and containing a definite amount of electromagnetic energy. EMFs have actually been around since the start of time as we receive natural EMFs from the sun and from the Earth, daily. But with all of the technological advances over the last 100 years, from the light bulb, to the radio, to the microwave, and all the various types of wireless screens, people today are bombarded with unprecedented levels of man made EMFs. Thankfully, there are a number of ways you can shield EMFs from your body as you use your devices.
The first, and probably my most recommended one, would be the Defender Pad. As the description states, “The DefenderPad is a revolutionary laptop radiation shield uniquely structured to provide total protection from laptop radiation and laptop heat. Its state-of-the-art technology blocks virtually 100% of:
- Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
- RadiationRadio Frequency (RF) Radiation (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cell Signals etc.)
- Heat Radiation
I have had the privilege of speaking to the owner of Defender Shield myself over the years at various conferences, and learning more about what sets DefenderPads apart from other laptop shielding products. As of now, the DefenderPad is the only independently tested laptop radiation shield that “blocks the full frequency spectrum of harmful electromagnetic radiation from 0-10 GHz which includes Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) and Radio Frequency (RF) emissions while decreasing heat radiation down to near undetectable levels.” 2. After much thought and research, I began saving up for my own DefenderPad and am now happily typing this blog on my laptop, which sits on my DefenderPad – in blue!
While DefenderPads are one of the most popular products, you can also find EMF and WIFI/radiation shields for your phone, your headphones, and your tablet.
The next most important item on my list of tips for healthy computer use would be blue light blocking glasses. Just a few years ago, these funny looking orange glasses were not all that popular, but with the rise in awareness of the harmful effects that blue light has on a person’s eyes and body, they have become increasingly popular.
So why all of the fuss about blue light? Before you add blue light to your list of things to completely avoid, it is important to note that, like EMFs, some blue light is natural, and a very good thing! Most notably, the sun emits blue light, just as it emits natural EMFs, and we all know we need the sun for many things, including Vitamin D. So the problem with blue light comes into play after dark, when our bodies should be winding down from the day, and producing melatonin to promote a restful sleep. Just like with EMFs, blue light after dark was not as much of an issue 100 years ago, but with the surge in creation of artificial light, people are being exposed to as much blue light at midnight as they should be mid day. This poses a huge problem for the body’s natural circadian rhythm, or sleep/wake cycle.
Insomnia, obesity, elevated cortisol levels, and even various cardiovascular problems are all on the rise due to disturbed sleep cycles and overall lack of quality sleep due to hours of blue light exposure after the sun has gone down. So what can you do? Fortunately there is a quick and simple fix to blue light exposure after dark with blue light blocking glasses. I purchased a pair for myself a while back, for less than $10, and have been enjoying them ever since. I will say, it certainly is an adjustment getting used to your world being orange, but the benefits to my health far out way the funny look and mono-colored environment the glasses bring!
Lastly, to sum up, here are a few more tips and tricks to keep your health optimal, while enjoying your computers and other electronic devices. First, sit up straight! Posture is so important, and can easily be neglected when sitting on the couch, hovered over your device. Next, take breaks. For every 45 minutes you spend looking at a screen, try and take a 15-minute break to give your eyes and vision a break. Finally, if a 15-minute break every hour is not feasible for you, at least take your eyes off the screen and focus on objects far away for a few minutes. This will give your eyes opportunity to focus in on things far away and not become accustomed to seeing only what is a foot in front of you.
Have any other tips or tricks for healthy computer and screen time use? Leave me a comment below!
Hello! I am Andie. After growing up on the typical SAD diet, and experiencing a health crash of my own during my young teenage years, I was determined to find an alternative way to heal my body, rather then just blindly following the doctor’s recommendations of drugs – for life. To my doctor’s disbelief, I healed my autoimmune illness, amongst many other things, which were deemed “incurable”, and have never looked back. Since then, I have decided to put my passions and talents to use and started my own business of freelance writing for Functional Medicine Practitioners, Biological Dentists, and Real Food Companies, such as one of my personal favorites – Radiant Life! I also meet and consult with other people who were just like me, looking to find true healing, and get their life back on track. Even when I am not working, I love to spend my free time researching the latest health topics, helping my family and friends overcome their own health obstacles, and teaching others how to make things like Kombucha, fermented veggies, and so many other nourishing goodies! I enjoy all things sun – sunshine, sunflowers, and sundresses, and am blessed to have grown up by the seashore, in sunny Southern California, where I spend my days with my toes in the wet ocean sand, and cultivating the simple joys of being alive and well. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or come up and say hello if you see me at one of the many natural health conferences around the country!