7 Ways to Use Technology for Better Health as a Student
Every day, your life is intertwined with technology. You probably spend three to four hours a day on your smartphone, and you have an app installed for everything from banking to class schedules. You may have a smartwatch or another wearable, too. And what kind of student can live without a laptop?
Technology can do a lot of good for you – if you let it. It can help you stay on top of your homework, keep track of your finances, and stay in touch with your friends.
But that’s not all: technology can also improve your well-being, both mental and physical. Here are seven ways how.
A student’s life is synonymous with stress. But prolonged exposure to it can do plenty of harm. Chronic stress can lead to anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, sleep problems, weight gain, and more.
If homework is the source of your stress, technology can also connect you with an assignment helper. Just type “write my essay for me” into the search bar, and you’ll find a service that can take some of the weight off your shoulders. Just make sure to select a reliable one!
Here are a few other examples of how technology can help you mitigate stress:
- Take up meditation with the help of apps like Headspace and Insight Timer;
- Learn to use stress mitigation techniques (e.g., mindful breathing) with apps like Stop, Breathe, Think or Calm;
- Maintain a healthy study-life balance with the Focus mode on your phone.
Get Yourself to Exercise
You must be spending hours in front of your laptop or hunched over textbooks. But if you’re mindful of your health, you know that a sedentary lifestyle is associated with cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and even early death.
Technology can help you stay fit – and enjoy it. Here’s how:
- Your smartwatch can remind you to stand and do a stretch every hour;
- It can also track your physical activity, help you set goals, and remind you about them;
- Your smartphone can replace going to the gym with workout apps like 8fit and Nike Training Club;
- Apps and smartwatches can also have achievements that will motivate you to attain your activity goals.
Train Your Brain
Just like your heart and muscles, your brain (your cognitive functioning, to be more precise) needs exercise to remain in shape. To provide the said exercise, you can use your smartphone to:
- Solve crosswords and puzzles online (the New York Times’ Games section is an excellent place to start);
- Install apps like Lumosity and Elevate that provide tons of brain teasers you can enjoy during a commute or while waiting in line;
- Play chess, card games, and other brain-stimulating games on your smartphone or laptop.
Switch In-Person Visits for Telehealth
Any type of healthcare at your fingertips and at a reduced cost – that’s what technology can give you. How? Through telehealth, of course!
Sometimes, of course, in-person doctor visits are a must. But if you just have a simple question or concern, you can talk about it with a doctor without leaving your living room. Your current healthcare provider may already be offering such virtual visits!
The benefits of virtual visits are obvious: you save time, it’ll (likely) cost you less, and healthcare becomes more accessible. You can also get mental healthcare through online platforms like Talkspace and Amwell.
A good night of sleep is worth a lot: chronic lack of sleep leads to a decline in cognitive function. This means you’ll have a harder time remembering things and committing new knowledge to your long-term memory. You’ll also struggle with concentration and reasoning.
Here’s how technology can help you get a good night of sleep as often as possible:
- Tracking your sleep. Your smartphone can detect various phases of sleep and how often you wake up. This information can help you understand your habits and why you wake up tired sometimes. Certain apps can also detect issues in your sleep, such as apnea.
- Fall asleep faster. If you struggle with falling asleep, apps like Calm and Headspace have a library of soothing sounds and podcasts you can turn on to speed up the process. (In case you don’t want to pay for another app, YouTube is also full of similar videos – but make sure you won’t be interrupted by ads.)
- Wake up better. Some apps offer a feature called a “smart alarm.” You set the period when you need to wake up, and the app detects the best point to sound off the alarm. This point is when your sleep is at its lightest.
Improve Your Eating Habits
Are you planning to go on a diet? Or just want to acquire healthier eating habits? Either way, your phone – once again – can be a great technology assistant in your journey.
Here’s what it can help you do:
- Make new habits stick. Be it eating habits or not, you can use apps like Productive Habit Tracker and Habitica to track your progress and motivate you to stay on track.
- Plan your meals. Apps like PlateJoy can personalize a weekly menu based on your preferences and create smart grocery shopping lists.
- Track your nutrient and calorie intake. Cronometer, My Plate CalorieCounter, and similar nutrition apps can help you understand what you eat now – and how you can improve your diet.
Never Miss Taking a Medication
If you’re on any sort of medication, you know how annoyingly easy it is to forget to take it on time. That’s not just frustrating: regularly missing out on medication can endanger your health, too.
Luckily, you don’t have to rely on your memory when it comes to meds. You can outsource keeping track of the schedule to your smartphone!
It can be as easy as setting an alarm or two. Or, you can turn to the Health app on your iPhone for reminders and logging your meds. (Alternative apps include Medisafe and Pill Reminder.
Technology is a great tool for taking care of your health, be it mental or physical. Just take your smartphone: it alone has the power to help you stay fit, become more mindful, sleep better, and improve your diet. And that’s not even a full list!
So, if you aim to improve your health, take another look at the list above. Pinpoint the areas of improvement you want to start with, and let technology assist you in your journey.