Are the lazy days of technology over?

Technology makes us lazy. How often have you seen statements like these?
Manufacturing makes us lazy about nutrition
TV, Internet and Gaming make us lazy about activity
Search makes us lazy about knowledge
Social media makes us lazy about relationships

The whole purpose of technology is to take away the tension in your life, to solve problems, to add value – generally to make life easier not lazier. 

Yet, in developed markets, we see rising obesity and health-related issues such as diabetes and cancer, rising mental health issues, falling literacy and education standards, and suffering relationships (broken families, divorce rates, lower marriage rates, isolation and bullying).

Big technology brands make the move to be more active 
That’s why I’m excited to see Apple and Google up the technology ante in health and fitness – Apple HealthKit and Google Fit both providing a service that pools information from multiple apps such as Nike Fuel, Adidas, RunKeeper into one central platform for easier tracking. Beyond tracking fitness activity, these services are designed to set the foundation for total health care, integrating multiple platforms, mobile and wearable devices across health markers such as blood pressure and heart rate, nutrition, sleep patterns and brain health.  

With big technology brands playing in this space, technology has a chance to enable and empower personal and shared motivation for healthy living, and perhaps we can see some of those global health-disaster markers turn around. 

Technology has the opportunity to turn lazy into living
Technology has the opportunity to not just extend lives but improve the quality of living. But get past the technology blame game and not just change but entrench behaviour, people need to be well-informed and held accountable for their own actions and choices. 

The concerning factor is historic patterning that indicates our choices aren’t always that clever:
‘We could have used technology to produce more nutritious foods, but market demands determined that we’d become an obese nation of junk food eaters’ (1)

A health check on Australians this week indicates that we are now forecast to live longer, against the global trend that we’re to be the first generation to die younger than prior. We’re perceived to be a healthy nation of sporty, outdoorsy types and we aspire to be fit and healthy – but we’re still ranked 3rd in obesity, less than half of us partake in the recommended 150 minutes of activity a week and 3 million Australians are currently living with depression or anxiety and cost of mental health to Australia exceeds $28.6 billion. So there’s still a lot of progress to be made, and no resting on our laurels. 

Technology helps us learn and entrench new healthy behaviours
Technology won’t make us healthy by itself – we are people not robots! – but it certainly can help us be more informed and accountable for the choices and actions we make, as we learn and entrench new healthy behaviours. 

A #healthybrand uses technology to inform, enable and empower good choices and actions towards healthy, happy living: 
Manufacturing helps make good nutrition easier
TV, Internet and Gaming help us integrate healthy physical, mental and social activity
Search helps us find what’s important to us and makes us more knowledgeable about that
Social media helps us create and nurture relationships that matter

Written by Rachel Bevans
Rachel is the healthy brand champion, owner and managing director for strategy and planning, of The Healthy Brand Company. 
Feel free to share and acknowledge the source. 

Sources:
1. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/228388/pros-and-cons-of-a-fuel-efficient-brain.html
2. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/228877/are-our-brains-trading-breadth-for-depth.html
3. http://www.cnet.com/au/news/google-aims-at-apples-health-kit-with-new-fitness-service/
4. http://m.smh.com.au/comment/health-report-card-reveals-excellent-grades-20140701-zsrso.html
5. hhttps://static.diabetesaustralia.com.au/s/fileassets/diabetes-australia/e7282521-472b-4313-b18e-be84c3d5d907.pdf
6. hhttps://www.medibankhealth.com.au/news-article.asp?id=78&t=Expenditure+on+mental+illness+in+Australia+revealed+to+be+%2428.6+billion+per+year&pid=0