This module explores the effects of digital habits on your mental and physical health. Included here are tools and techniques to examine personal digital use, identify warning signs & employ mitigating techniques.
this page provides information ONLY. We do not provide medical or other professional advice. If you require advice, you need to speak with an expert.
What the Internet is Doing to our Brains (4 minutes)
Addictive behaviours around internet use include:
Internet habits may be associated with other 'behavioural addictions' such as shopping or pornography, but Gambling Disorder is currently the only behavioural addiction in the DSM-V.
Internet Addiction is not considered a distinct mental disorder, as it lacks some criteria of conventionally recognized addictions and may be a symptom or manifestation of other, existing disorders. The DSM-V has recommended Internet Gaming Disorder for further study.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Ed. (DSM-5). 2013.
Some people may benefit from engaging with support groups such as those below. Caution should be used to make sure that participation does not become an excuse to spend more time online, and that the group's values are aligned with your own.
People who do continuous, intensive computer work, such as data entry, for prolonged periods during a shift are at increased risk of developing a number of health problems. These include: visual fatigue, headaches, upper limb musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome), and back pain (Ontario Ministry of Labour).
Try incorporating these preventative habits into your routine:
There are a variety of customizable apps available for your desktop computer that will remind you to take a walk, stretch, or exercise your eyes. Using an app can really help mitigate the health risks of sitting at a computer all day long.
Good 'sleep hygiene' is critical for academic performance, productivity, mood, mental health, physical fitness and more. Some technology habits severely disrupt human sleep patterns and can cause cumulative sleep deprivation.
The fascinating science of sleep, by a renowned circadian neuroscientist (22 minutes)