The degree to which technology has embedded itself into our lives is becoming increasingly apparent, and the health space is no exception. We’ve rounded up a few tech-based strategies that may offer benefits and help you age optimally.
Virtual reality can be a therapeutic tool for improving well-being
Virtual reality uses 360-degree video to create a computer-generated environment as if it were real. The technology is safe, accessible, and fun and is a promising therapeutic tool for improving well-being, especially for those who have mobility issues. It can improve well-being, particularly concerning depression, anxiety and apathy.
Mental health apps can help self-manage mental health conditions
Mental health apps and online resources can help people self-manage mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, cognitive impairment, substance use problems, such as quitting smoking or reducing alcohol intake, and mindfulness training.
Digital technologies can make exercising at home easier
As we go through life, we are sometimes faced with unexpected hurdles or even changes in our preferences that can impact if and how we exercise. Be it global pandemics that lead to lockdowns, issues related to mobility, finances, and access, or simply enjoying the comfort of being in our own house, a strong case for the benefits of home-based exercise can be made. With the help of digital technologies, exercising at home has never been easier. Research shows that home-based exercise delivered through digital technologies can enhance physical function in older adults living in the community.
Wearable activity trackers can increase steps taken
Those living with disorders that impact their bones, spine, muscles, and other soft tissues are especially likely to be inactive. Research shows that in this population, wearable activity trackers may boost the number of daily steps taken and the amount of time spent participating in moderate to vigorous activity. More research is needed on the long-term effects of this strategy and what additional methods to best pair it with.
Mobile apps can help with various health goals
Health-related mobile apps are available and aplenty. They can potentially improve weight management in people with chronic diseases, enhance blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes, reduce depressive symptoms in older adults with depressive symptoms or disorders, and increase physical activity levels.
Before downloading a gamified app or putting on a virtual reality headset, discuss these strategies with your healthcare team. Ask whether they are appropriate for you, given the health conditions you may live with and your health status, as well as how to utilize these strategies safely.