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Section Overview Questions to Consider Physical Health Mental & Emotional Health

Digital Health & Wellness Overview

Do you slouch over a keyboard all day? Do you get dry eyes by the end of the day? Do you stare and a screen and rely on technology too much? How much technology is too much?

Really, it depends on how you’re using it. Everybody has different needs for technology and balances technology use in different ways. The resources in this section will address the broad categories of physical health, and mental health. This topic overlaps with the Online Communication & Etiquette section.

Take a look at these resources and focus on the ones that would be most helpful to you and your community. Which segment of the population needs the most help? Do any of them? How can the library help connect people with the resources they need to stay healthy and well in the digital age??

Questions to Consider?

  1. Do you get a sore neck when looking at your phone too long?
  2. Do your thumbs hurt, or start to spasm after while? Consider texting thumb.
  3. How much time do you spend online? Try tracking it and find out if you like the number.
  4. Are there good and bad uses for your time on the internet?
  5. Do you get try eyes after looking at a screen all day?
  6. Do you lose time when you go online? Does 15 minutes turn into two hours?
  7. What are some habits you like, and which would you like to change?
  8. How would you change the habits you don't like?

Physical Health

This section covers a variety of ways technology can impact your physical health. Explore these resources to learn more about these topics:

  • Digital Eye Strain
  • Computer Workstation Ergonomics
  • How Technology Can Affect Sleep
  • Text Thumb & Text Neck- Repetative Stress Injuries
  • Focus on Prevention!


(Video) Ergonomics Expert Explains How to Set Up Your Desk: In this video, an ergonomic expert provides a demonstration of how to setup an ergonomic computer station, along with some stretches and exercises to prevent pain, strain, and injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Computer Workstations eTool: The U.S. Department of Labor provides an evaluation checklist to make sure computer stations are set up correctly.

How Technology Impacts Sleep Quality: The American Association of Sleep Technologists gives us the rundown of how to sleep well in the world of technology.

(Infographic) How Electronics Affect Sleep and What to do About It: provides a great infographic on how tech can disrupt sleep and how you can take back your bedroom.

Digital Eye Strain: The Vision Council describes how we can protect our eyes when using computers for long periods of time.

Text Neck: Is Smartphone Use Causing Your Neck Pain? The Cleveland Clinic gives us the lowdown on smartphones, poor posture, and repetative stress on the neck.

Ask a Doc: What is Texting Thumb? This interview in Cedars Sinai describes how smartphone use is impacting our tendons and what we can do to change our habits and save our tendons..

(Video) Could Tech Neck be the Cause of Your Headaches or Neck Pain? The Center for Diagnostic Imaging shows how cell phone use can strain mulscles and do harm in the long term.

Mental & Emotional Health

This section covers a variety of ways technology can impact your mental and emotional health. Explore these resources to learn more about these topics:

  • Technology Designed to Keep You Hooked
  • Screen Time Balance
  • Building a Family Technology Use Plan
  • Overcoming Potential Technology Over-reliance
  • How Technology Affects Our Brains
  • Effect of Technology on Relationships

Some of the categories in the phyiscal health section may also affect mental health, especially sleep!


It's Not You. Phones are Designed to Be Addicting: Vox explains three design elements that make us never want to put down our phones. Start looking for these design elements in your favorite apps and websites.

Tips to Reduce Screen Time: What does a healthy lifestyle look like in a digital world? The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute put together this guide to help us make that decision for ourselves.

Connected and Content, Managing Healthy Technology Use: The American Psychological Association offers seven strategies to help guide people towards healthy tech habits. Which technology is most important in your life? What can you ignore until later?

How to Resist Technology Addiction: Common Sense Media posted this article on CNN, detailing ways technology is designed to keep users coming back for more, and some ways to prevent bad habits. Sometimes all it takes is updating your phone notifications.

(Video) Your Brain on Cell Phones- Mayim Bialik: Mayim Bialik has some great (and entertaining) insights into how phones and technology are changing how we interact with other people and the world around us. It may be time to start thinking about how we can take control of technology.

The New Humanism: Technology Should Enhance, Not Replace, Human Interactions: The Brookings Institute gives a rundown on the direction technology is taking for current and future generations. Keep this in mind as you integrate more technology into your life.

Innovations to Fight Isolation: AARP describes different ways technology can help older adults stay connected and fight lonliness.

Social Media: Is it Really to Blame for Young People Being Lonlier than Any Other Age Group? The Conversation reveals that technology, isolation and lonliness are not always so cut and dry. It is all in how you use the tools available, and your overall mindset..

The Effect of Technology on Relationships: Psychology Today describes how the internet can affect our relationships and how to use these tools wisely.

Examples in the Library

These examples can be adapted to various different age groups, depending on your community needs:

  • Use this as an add-on to a tech class: Ask people to really tune into how their body feels when they look at screens for long stretches, or hunch over a phone. Hand out an inforgraphic or resource sheet for text neck, texting thumb, and eye strain.
  • Spot the Click Bait: Host an activity where people surf a popular news channel, and explore social media. Make a list of all the click bait you see. Do you take the bait? How long do you stay? Why?
  • Next time you do yoga in the library or positive mind and body exervices, ask how different technology services make them feel. Is technology a positive force in your life?
  • Make sure your library computer stations have more ergonomic options for users.
  • Put up posters and provide handouts for mental health in the digital age.
  • Do yoga in the library! Try adding a series of neck stretches.
  • Encourage people to write about their stress and anxiety about communicating or living more life online.
  • Provide safe spaces for people to talk about and seek help for technology-related mental health issues.
  • Host a panel of local doctors who might like to address technology effects on the body.

Start looking for signs that people are overusing technology, or showing signs of ergonomic discomfort. Provide access points where people can encouter resouces more naturally and anonymously.

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