If you were to ask whether the internet was the cause of one person becoming overweight or noticing a decrease in their overall health, you would have to say no. Every individual has choices to make in life and there is nothing about the internet that forces it to be used or to become a predominant part of people’s lives. The fact that so many people are able to lead a healthy lifestyle while enjoying what the internet has to offer indicates that it is the individual at fault, as opposed to the internet.
However, when considering the general population, there is no getting away from the fact that the internet has led to a decrease in the overall health of the nation. The fact that so many elements are now available online which means that people no longer have to be as active as they once were will definitely play a part in the health of the general population. Some people will be more affected than others but it would be fair to say that people, in general, are less fit these days and the internet is a contributory factor.
People who don’t exercise will be unhealthier
One of the biggest ways that people are unhealthier thanks to the internet is down to the increased ability to work from home. With people able to log into their work’s database from home or set up their own business providing online services, there is less need for people to leave the house.
It is not as if walking to or from work or even walking to use public transport has been the sole factor in keeping people healthy but for many people, the morning and post-work commute represented some form of exercise. Even going from little exercise to no exercise is going to have a negative impact on the health of people and the sedentary lifestyle which is on the rise since the emergence of the internet plays a large part in people becoming unhealthier.
Another factor in people becoming less healthy is the fact that the internet provides everything you could want to do or need at home. If you need to buy clothes, food, DVDs, or any other activity, you would previously have had to leave the house.
Again, heading to a local shopping mall or heading up and down the High Street may not be the most strenuous of activities but at least it would provide people with fresh air, exercise, and social activity.
Social interaction is important in life
The same can be said for online gaming and interaction replacing the ways that people used to meet up and spend time together. In the evening after school or work, people would socialize and enjoy many different activities. This still happens but for many people, it happens less frequently than it used to. Being able to chat online means that people can stay in touch with their friends without having to get dressed up, leave the house, and walk or travel somewhere. This represents a far easier option for most people but it represents an option that is less healthy.
While the vast majority of focus on the internet causing unhealthy lives revolves around people not exercising, there is a lot to be said for a downfall in people’s health thanks to the lack of social interaction. While people can converse and chat online with their friends or people they have never met before, this is not the same as interacting in person.
Research into the mental health and alertness of elderly people has indicated that social interaction is a crucial part of staying mentally active and well. The game of bingo is highly recommended for elderly people for two key reasons.
The game itself provides players with a mental focus, causing them to stay sharp and paying attention. However, it was found that engaging with people in person helps them to feel happier and more engaged, which is good for their general health and well-being. When people are not able to interact in person, they do not get the mental support that they need in life, which is why the emergence of the internet as the number one social activity is not great for long-term health issues.
The internet is still a predominantly good thing in people’s lives but there is a need to acknowledge the negative impact it has had on some people. People need to think about limiting their use of the internet to ensure that they get out of the house, get some exercise, and meet some real people from time to time.