Our modern world can easily be summed up by one word: busy. There are places to go, messages to respond to, feeds to check, meetings to attend, pictures to like, food to consume, and exercises to be done (if we ever find the time). But we weren’t always this ‘busy,’ were we? What has this level of busy done to our health?
I would argue it is taking its toll, making us chronically sick, stressed, and tired. But it seems, fortunately for us all, that the introduction of smart and wellness tech is opening us up to an integrative world that blends health, technology, and emotion together.
Let me explain. Working at Collective Evolution, I’ve been able to see what the collective is really dialing into at any given time. Through analytics and trends I have seen that now, more than ever, people are attracted to anything related to improving their health via the latest technology.
Because we rely so heavily on our gadgets and apps these days — they give us our schedules, tell us what to eat (and when, and how much), what exercises to do, how to meditate, what to watch, and more — it would be wise to take a look at how it is affecting our health. Mindful usage of these devices, should we choose to take advantage of them, is essential to our mental health, because as we all know, things can get a bit obsessive quite quickly.
Wearable technology, like the Fitbit, smart eyewear, and accessories, allows us to track, record, and monitor our movements and health. They provide analytics, graphs, and even locations of places we’ve been to or wish to visit. While it’s great to have a record of your achievements (or lack thereof), it is equally important to recognize that you are much more than those numbers. I had a Fitbit earlier this year and I found it to be a great motivator to get moving.
I remember one day being so determined to reach my daily 10K steps mark that I walked up and down and all around my house for 30 minutes at 11pm until I reached my goal. Was I a better person for achieving that? Not really.
Was I a little too caught up in my mind and its impossible standard of perfection? Probably. This was a perfect example of how technology, health, and emotions are a powerful trifecta than can help or hinder depending on how they’re used.
Better Work Tech: CoreChair
Sedentary lifestyle has become so prominent in our technology driven world. We have lost so much of our natural mobility within our vocational life. Some of us have jobs that require us to sit down for long periods of time every day.
The creators of the CoreChair recognized this reality and came up with a revolutionary chair that not only supports and corrects posture, but strengthens core muscles as you work.
Once we found out how destructive sitting for long periods of time is on our health, we moved to standing desks. But those have their own set of issues. CoreChair technology combines the movement the body requires (and a fantastic outlet for fidgeters) with the practicality of getting your work done. You can lock the chair in place when you want to be still, or unlock it for full range of motion so you can gain the benefits of mobility while you sit.
But there is an element of mindfulness inherent in this technology, as the chair provides an opportunity to check in with your body and see what it needs. I have the not-so-healthy habit of folding my legs under myself on a chair when I’m working. Doing this continuously and often has caused me some knee pain. But the design of the CoreChair does not allow for this or other poor sitting habits.
The sculpted seat for example won’t accommodate criss-crossed legs, but is super comfortable and works in conjunction with the low back to stabilize the pelvis and create a balanced spine position, optimizing sitting posture and reducing back pain. Learn more about the CoreChair here.
Technology like the emWave strives to improve our mental health by giving us a glimpse into our stress management habits. The HeartMath Institute has decades of research showing the intimate relationship between our physiology and psychology processes. Everyone has some form of stress in their lives; instead of going for the impossible and trying tirelessly to get rid of it, let’s work on managing it instead.
The emWave technology is an innovative approach to improving wellness and facilitating personal growth based on learning to change your heart rhythm pattern to create coherence — a scientifically measurable state characterized by increased order and harmony in the mind and body. This little device clamps lightly onto your earlobe, with the other end plugged into your computer via USB port. It’s fascinating to see the real-time results as you focus on a positive emotion and breathe along with your heart rhythms. You will see the graphs and lights change to reflect your level of coherence.
Health Journal Apps
At some point or another, we seek personal development as a means of evolving and improving ourselves. Instead of getting (and paying for) a real, live life-coach or mentor, however, there are an array of apps that you can download on your various devices that mix the tech with the health and emotional well-being.
Apps like Remente or Balanced are goal-orientated and demand accountability, helping the user engage more with their life. I think the best thing to come out of this technology that integrates with our lives is the level of self-awareness it can help bring to people.
When you are committed to logging your food, activities, alcohol consumption, exercise, social time, drug use, sleep time, and other metrics, it gives you a real snapshot of where and what you are spending your time doing. The downside to this could be the self-judgment that may or may not come along for the ride if things aren’t documented or you don’t like what the numbers are showing.
Either way there is much to learn; it’s just important to remember to blend this technology into our lives mindfully — not getting attached to the perceived outcomes or wished-for expectations, but simply engaging more with our own lives and habits.
We’ve all seen the dark side of technology, but we just went through some awesome ways it helps us improve our lives as well, as long as we are mindful and self-aware of all the implications. If something just isn’t working for you, be wise and courageous enough to let it go. I let my Fitbit go for a while, as I started noticing a competitiveness coming out with other Fitbit users. If you know of more health integrative technologies, I’d love to hear about them!
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