How Your Smartphone Is Killing Your Health

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The way you use your smartphone is hurting your health.

Poonacha Machaiah is trying to fix that.

Partnering with wellness expert Deepak Chopra, Machaiah is developing a wellness app that will curb the cell phone health risks and make your smartphone an asset to your health, rather than a detriment.

[Tweet “Ironically, the devices we’ve created to keep us connected are making us feel more alone.”]

Studies are finding smartphones and social media are increasing rates of anxiety, addiction, and feelings of isolation. Digital analytics firm Flurry found we spend three hours and 45 minutes a day staring at our phones. Yikes.

The problem, Machaiah says, is that we’re not using technology to our advantage – we’re becoming controlled by it.


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So how do we take back control?

Machaiah says we need to use technology to leverage well-being. Well-being is a pretty complex, holistic concept, but Machaiah breaks it down into 10 facets.

When we have all 10, we can unlock true fitness: in the mind and the body.

The 10 Facets of Well-being

1. Purpose

New science is proving that a sense of purpose, accountability, or drive improves health, lengthening lifespan and staving off dementia and depression.

2. Deep rest

Sleep and recovery. There are no shortcuts to this.

3. Nutrition

A clean diet of micronutrient-packed vegetables, high-quality fats for cognitive function, and low-GI carbs for mood stability and hormone regulation.

4. Mind/body connection

Meditation, yoga, and mental quietness reduce stress and improve longevity.

5. Movement

Workouts are great, but they’re not enough. Incorporating more movement into your life in general fights a whole host of health problems.

6. Toxicity

Removing toxins, processed foods, pollution, and additives decreases inflammation.

7. Flexibility

Both physical and mental flexibility is essential – from workout recovery to stress management at the office.

8. Love, community, relationships

Belonging and togetherness might sound touchy-feely, but science says, “Hug someone, you need it.”

9. Career

Hustle hard. But with purpose (see #1).

10. Finance

Maslow said it best: having your security and safety needs met is your baseline. Financial stability helps you climb the pyramid.

infographic facets of well being factor 75

How Can Technology Help?

So how do we get more well-being in our technologically crowded world?

Machaiah thinks the smartphone is our answer.

The problem is cutting out the static. “These days there is a lot of information but no knowledge. We want to create technology as a companion, to provide context rather than content.”

Together with Deepak Choprah, Machaiah has developed Jiyo. The app uses the technology already housed inside the smartphone: pedometer, GPS, calendar, etc, to track your behavior and offer insights and suggestions based on your habits.

Poonacha_Machaiah“Humans are irrational, yes, but very predictable,” Machaiah says. “If we can find ways to build algorithms to predict behavior, we can integrate our online and offline selves to improve overall well-being.”

Poonacha Machaiah

Jiyo configures the data from your smartphone resources, inputs them into the algorithm, and curates content that would be relevant for you that day.

Are you traveling? Here are foods that will help you recover quicker from jet lag.

You’ve got a meeting today? Here’s a five-minute meditation to increase focus and reduce stress.

The content will cover exercise, meditation, relationships, finances, finding purpose and meaning in the everyday.

Which facets of well-being are you missing? How does technology help or hurt your quest for more wellness in life? Let us know in the discussion below, or on Twitter and Facebook.

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