Human beings have been presented with new challenges for staying healthy in the modern world. Technological development has made the world a more convenient place to live in, but it has also made a sedentary lifestyle more commonplace. Never before have we had such a vast repository of entertainment options at our fingertips, from movie and television hosting sites, to social media, to gaming. One need never leave the comfort of one’s armchair or couch to access these options, and this presents the first major challenge to our health in modern life. This problem is compounded by some people’s diet, which contains a high proportion of sugary, salty or fatty snacks and meals. As we get older, the problem only gets worse, because the negative effects of consuming such foods become more physically pronounced.
Another challenge to staying healthy in the modern world is our working hours. In some industries, employees start and end the working day far later than the traditional 9:00am-5:00pm model that has been prevalent in Western countries for many years. Finishing at a later time obviously reduces the opportunity for workers to squeeze some exercise into their days, because darkness has descended by the time they finish work, and eating dinner is the only priority at that time. Speaking of the latter, eating dinner later presents a health problem in and of itself, because some people end up finishing dinner too close to their bedtime. It is widely known that one should go to bed no sooner than two hours after eating. I have experienced the effects of failing to heed this warning first-hand, in the form of severe stomach pain in the middle of the night, followed by a dash to the toilet.
In the workplace itself, challenges to one’s health come thick and fast. In some industries, people sit in front of a computer monitor for the entire day. Over an extended period of time, this will inevitably cause eyestrain. Furthermore, being in a seated position for extended periods of time can result in everything from lower back pain to difficulties going to the toilet. One solution that has been offered in the workplace is the standing desk, but more can always be done to alleviate these problems.
The main solutions that suggest themselves are to take care with one’s diet and to find ways to incorporate exercise into one’s daily routine in any way possible. With regard to the former point, it can be tempting to head to the nearest McDonalds or ramen shop after finishing work late, but the temptation should be resisted in favor of something more nutritious. With regard to the latter, one could rise earlier than usual to go for an early morning run before work, or take a short, brisk walk during one’s lunch break, or even take a brisk walk around one’s neighborhood after dinner.
In summary, modern life presents us with a host of challenges to our health arising from technological development, working hours and workplace lifestyles. However, we can combat these challenges by making subtle changes to our lifestyles and diet.
sedentary (adj) ? involving a lot of sitting and not much exercise
compound (verb) ? to make a problem or difficult situation even worse
pronounced (adj) ? very noticeable or clear
thick and fast (phr) ? frequently and in large numbers or amounts
brisk (adj) ? moving or acting quickly