Few inventions since the wheel have had such a marked impact on our lifestyle. Today, virtually everything is digitized, and in the western world, it’s an incredibly rare thing to come across anyone who’s never used a computer at least once in their lifetime. Indeed, many of us tend to use our PCs on a daily basis. Many of us require a computer for our jobs, our day to day involves sitting at a desk keying in words and numbers.

That’s actually pretty terrible for us, believe it or not.

See, technology has advanced in such a way that it’s actually gone beyond human evolution, in a sense. We simply aren’t suited to the way many of us use modern tech, and as a result, we’re seeing health problems pop up by the dozen. Until we fully adapt to the march of technology- if that day really comes- these health problems are going to keep coming.

A Sedentary Lifestyle

The human body is designed to be active. It’s designed to constantly be moving in some way. How many of you exercise regularly? How many of you exercise at all? As a whole, our society is markedly more sedentary than its ever been. That’s not good- and our bodies feel the aftereffects. Obesity in developed countries is higher than it’s ever been, a double-whammy resulting from our poor diet and our poor habits. Sporadic exercise simply isn’t enough- if we’re ever going to pull ourselves out of our current unhealthy slump, we’ll need better eating habits, an exercise routine, and less time spent in front of the screen- be it a computer screen, TV screen, or gaming console.

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Back, Arm, and Wrist Problems

This ties in with the impact of a sedentary lifestyle. Even those of you who practice perfect posture will, if you spend too much time sitting and typing, likely develop back, arm, or wrist pain. For those of you with poor posture, well…the prognosis is even worse. Carpal tunnel syndrome, persistent back problems, and permanent nerve damage are just a few things that might result if you don’t regulate your schedule.

Poor Sleeping Habits

Show of hands, folks. How many people have pulled a late night because they were browsing reddit? Youtube? Tumblr? Playing a game? Talking to friends? Those of you who have, you’re not alone- and you’ve probably done it more than once. Those of you who haven’t…well, you’re probably lying. There’s something inherently odd about digital entertainment- something unusual that makes it entirely too easy to lose track of time. There’s just so much stuff on the Internet, so many pictures of cats and people to frag and awesome music videos and people to talk to and oh look it’s five AM and you have to be up in two hours for work.

Sound familiar? It should. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to deal with this, particularly if you’re suffering from number four on the list…

Internet Addiction

We’ve talked about this before. Like any other brand of addiction, Internet Addiction is a terrible, damaging, and undeniably destructive influence. Thing is…there’s simply not enough research on it at the moment. We don’t have enough support groups, we don’t know enough about how to classify it, and we don’t know enough about how to treat people who have it. After all, our whole society is online.

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How do you treat an addiction that’s all but socially accepted?

The Coolidge Effect

I’ll try to keep things PG here, but basically, the Coolidge Effect describes the instinctual drive to fertilize as many females (or be fertilized by as many males) as possible. Presented with a new, novel, potential mate, a man or woman might well lose interest in their significant other, devaluing them in favor of the new specimen. Now, let’s toss the Internet into the fray there.

See where the problem arises? Like it or not, there’s a virtually limitless library of illicit material available to anyone who cares to look. Whereas men in previous days and ages might only have their imagination to get their jollies, now they have access to increasingly novel (and, eventually, bizarre) stimulation.

There’s an excellent explanation of how it works here.

Basically, it all comes down to the same idea- evolutionarily, we are not prepared for the technology we have developed.

What do you guys think? Has our society skipped ahead before our physiology can catch up, or is this all just a load of smoke? At the very least, we can’t deny that there are some serious problems with the digital age that need sorting, and some very troubled individuals who require treatment.

The question remains, though- how many are there? And what can we do about all this?

Image Credits: [Weight Loss Malaysia][About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome][Flickr][Tech Addiction][Women Awakened]