Nowadays, under the advanced technology development and a stable economic growth of Hong Kong, most of the citizens are affordable in purchasing and owing several electric gadgets. Although using electric gadgets extensively under advanced technology could raise the living standards, bring convenience to life and develop a comprehensive e-health system to the general public or even worldwide, we cannot deny the negative impacts which brought to human health.
What electric gadgets usually chosen by the general public in Hong Kong?
There are many digital devices innovated and chosen by Hong Kong general public for E-learning, entertainment, E-health, etc. And I will further introduce some famous and common examples.
- Smart phones is a telephone that generate and receive calls, also support a variety of texting, emailing, Internet, Bluetooth, gaming, photography and business applications services. Up to 2015, worldwide mobile phone subscriptions have grown to over 7 billion, penetrating 100% of the global population and reaching the bottom of the economic pyramid. This electric gadget is flexible as it is able to allow people interaction at every moment in everywhere and convenient in providing several services mentioned to the mobile customers.
- Digital Computer can run and perform its operations in the decimal system, that is in binary form. In 2014, digital electronic computers are commonly used as personal computers. This brings general public convenience and relatively high efficiencies in doing school projects, connecting with the worldwide information and accessing to different platforms and medias to collect useful datas for e-learnign, etc., which is beneficial to our daily lifestyle.
- Television (TV) is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting media, such as sounds, images and moving images in color nowadays. A TV set is a mass medium in facilitating entertainment, education, reporting news, advertising for business or conducting propagandas for government.
- Home video game consoles, such as PlayStation 4 (PS4), Nintendo Wii U, Xbox One or online games, etc. are very common in Hong Kong. Those imitation games are mimicking the real life characters and contexts. While playing games, we can gain a relaxed mood and reduce pressure.
Since electric gadgets bring various convenience for the community, people pay more attentions, money and time on these gadgets, some even addicted to it, which develop the negative impacts of using digital devices on human health in long term. I will introduce the cons in two aspects, the mental and physical aspects.
A. Physical Health Aspect
- Weight and Obesity
Most people spend much time sitting on the chair, sofa or lying on the bed to play the electric gadgets like mobile phone, therefore reduce the time to do workout, physical exercises. Also, some digital devices or electric gadgets users may sleep less in order to spend more time on searching the Net, playing games, etc and might eat snacks while playing electric gadgets. The Journal of Public Health published a study on 1803 adolescents aged 12-19 years and found a positive correlation between screen time is associated with metabolic syndrome in adolescents, regardless of physical activity. Therefore, people spent too much time on screen may have a relatively higher levels of triglycerides, fasting blood glucose, blood pressure, insomnia, etc.
- Visual acuity
Citizens spend so much time on screen which conduct Blu-ray and without appropriate rest for eyes may cause refractive error, vision
functional problems and ruin the ocular health, such as myopia, astigmatism, glaucoma, dry eye, etc., which may develop as a long-term damage to our health.
Skeletal Muscle Health
People bowed the head to watch the smartphone in the MTR station, on street, at home, at school, etc. Can be seen everywhere. If people keep the same or similar position or gesture for a longer time, may hurt and weaken the health of our bones and skeletal muscle.
- Brain Health
Computer radiation may raise the opportunities for people to suffer cancer. One study of the mobile phone use cited a 40% increased risk
of brain cancer in the highest category of heavy users.
B. Mental Health Aspect
- Addicted problems
More and more people would affect by addicting to the game, the Internet and the smartphone apps. For example, spent too much time on electronic gadgets may narrow the social circle and degrade the communication skills.
- Problems generated under information bombardment
For example, as the Internet provides so many information for users, lure attention users pay for important activities. And, may cause sensory hallucination, homophobia for using mobile phone.
- Others related problems
For example, the sleep deficits may be generated as people spend too much time on electric gadgets. Also, while children have intimate contact to violent games and immature to classify them form the virtual to the real, may easily become violence.
E-health is called electronic health which including the M-Health, that is a use of mobile computing, mobile phone, biomedical sensors & communication technologies for healthcare, its strengthened the technologies on healthcare and benefits are:
- Reducing the costs, i.e. reduce the money cost in overall healthcare; and the time cost for the interventions by medical staff due to the remote care for specific medical conditions.
- Broadening the criteria of services, i.e. provide a high penetration of healthcare and emergencies services un underserved areas.
- Other: Avoidance of interfering effects
In my opinion, the electric gadgets’ benefits can overcome the harms it brings. According to the statistics, green gadgets are invested to eliminate the hazardous substances. In 2014 there are considerably more products free from the worst hazardous chemicals than in 2006. It seems that the electric gadgets are less harmful to human beings health. It would effectively soothing our worries on the cons of the physical health. Also, I think if the electric gadgets users use those products with a proper time control and take enough rest while using can stay themselves apart from the cons brought by those products. Besides, with the efficiencies and the advanced development of the E-Health, can help improving the healthcare services to citizens. In conclusion, I think the electric gadgets bring a rather advantageous lifestyle to nowadays society and I guess maybe our health in the future is controlled by the mobile, i.e. the E-Health.
- HKSAR Government – Student Health Report
- Greenpeace International – The Green Gadgets http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/detox/electronics/Guide-to-Greener-Electronics/Green-Gadgets/
- EmergingEdTech – Pros and Cons of digital devices
- European Commission – M-Health
- PinInterest – Digital Lifestyle