Is Wellbeing The Next Big Trend in Tech?
Wellbeing has dominated the internet and media worlds in 2017. From digital wellness gurus, to conventions of wellbeing, to workplace wellness initiatives, we’re entering a new era of positivity, and almost every sector of industry is being pulled into the trend. Universities are introducing safe spaces for mental focus and security, restaurants are welcoming clean eating and vegan-friendly menus, and the internet has been bowled over by wellness influencers from Youtube to Instagram. But what about technology? Could this robotically detached industry be the next sector to succumb to wellbeing?
Technology That Knows When It’s Not Wanted
It’s no secret that too much technical consumption can be detrimental to wellness and mental wellbeing. Over the years, more and more scientific and psychological research has told us that intense periods of tech interaction can cause mental issues, such as insomnia, anxiety, depression, and physical problems, such as weight gain and repetitive strain injury. Which is why many new technologies are being programmed with in-built ‘off’ functions, and can turn themselves on and off at certain times of the day. Mac desktops are one of the most obvious examples of this, being built with the ability to turn itself on at the start of your working day, and off at the time you tell it to – stopping the users from being tempted to overindulge. New smart technology in the home can also help to enhance a more balanced state of wellbeing, switching off bright lights and turning up the heating at specific times of the day, encouraging users to start a routine of relaxation.
Wearable Technology for Wellness
Researchers have predicted that by 2018, 13 million wearable devices will be integrated into wellness programmes. This could mean mood balancing bracelets, fitness trackers, or Fitbugs designed to inspire healthier living habits in frequent users. Digital giants such as Google are currently looking into the Google X device, a wearable kit which tracks and destroys blood cancer cells for at-risk patients, and tracks blood pressure and sugar levels. In terms of health benefits, these wearable tech gadgets are making a big difference to our understanding of medtech.
Lifestyle wellness could also benefit from wearable technology, with devices such as the Apple Watch creating programmes to help users eat better, relax more, carry out mental exercises and even Feng Shui their living spaces for the ultimate wellness retreat.
The working office is one of the most lucrative demographics for wellness, with many office workers regularly complaining of significant health problems relating to their workplace. Stress, back pain, anxiety, and even hemorrhoids are all problems blighting the everyday office; luckily technology has stepped in to help.
Mechanical standing desks, miniature desk fans and heaters, and personalised desktop timers are now becoming common features in modern workplaces – designed to increase levels of both comfort and activity in 9-5 office workers. With downloadable programmes inbuilt into desktops to remind users to drink water, stretch, go for a walk, and even take their lunch break, they can help to create a healthy routine for stressed, busy sedentary workers.
Many offices and home desks are even introducing SAD lamps and lightbulbs into their fittings; specially designed bulbs to replicate sunlight and increase levels of dopamine and Vitamin D in those who work inside often. This can help to boost moods, improve office morale and fight off symptoms of depression – creating a positive and happy workforce, even on the rainiest of days.
Technology That Rocks You To Sleep
A healthy sleeping pattern is vital for a glowing wellness routine, but for many of us sleep is a luxury that we just don’t get enough of. Over 50% of Britons suffer from various sleep problems, such as insomnia, narcolepsy, night terrors, sleepwalking or sleep apnea, and with more and more of us choosing to spend our nights staring at screens, that figure is set to rise. So how can technology help?
New developments in technology are now making it even easier for people to get a full forty winks than ever. From the temperature changing duvet, which comes with different settings for chilly partners or uncomfortably hot bed-fellows, to innovative white noise machines, which drown out external noise and quieten noisy thoughts – sleep tech is a growing industry. The Nyx Somnus Sleep Shirt is another example of sleep-conscious technology, as it monitors the breathing and REM patterns of wearers, helping them to track any changes or disturbances in their sleep pattern after just one night’s wear.
Apps such as ‘Jawbone’ and ‘Zeo’ are also available to help monitor sleeping patterns, with regular time updates, all-night recording devices and tracking charts to provide a full analysis of the user’s sleep, helping them to understand and mend their difficult REM cycles.
Wellbeing and wellness are some of the biggest trends for technology to follow, and more and more products are coming out to support the craze.