Putting away the smart phones, iPads and other electronic media may be the first step in enjoying a healthier lifestyle during the holidays, says Jagdish Khubchandani, a member of the Global Health Institute at Ball State University and a physiology and health science professor.
His 2007 study found that excessive technology use and professional stress were reported to be predictors for lack of adequate physical activity and a decline in healthy eating
“The increasing use of electronic media has an influence on the time spent by Americans on living a healthier life and practicing healthier lifestyles,” Khubchandani says. “One of the main causes for sedentary lifestyles is the growing use of media and technology. About 72 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 use social networking sites. People of all ages have increased access to and usage of any form of technological devices as compared to their counterparts in other countries.
“The first step to enjoying the holidays may be turning off the computer. Instead of logging on, we should engage in exercise and real, meaningful conversation with others. Besides, it is hard to eat turkey with one hand and text with the other.”
Khubchandani suggests that policy makers and program planners in health promotion and education should devise strategies to combat excessive technology use in order to increase physical activity across all age groups.
Jagdish Khubchandani has been a member of the department since 2010 and was selected to serve as an inaugural Faculty Fellow for the Ball State Global Health Institute (2011-2012). He is also serving a term of 3 years as an Associate Editor for Health Promotion Practice, Chief Technical Editor for Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Editorial Board Member of Health Educator, and Faculty Mentor for Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research.