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Scientists warn: active use of gadgets can cause overeating
How often in our daily life do we try to do several things at the same time? We listen to music and write a message to a friend. Or we talk on the phone while browsing the catalog in the online store. It turned out that it can be dangerous to health and even leads to weight gain. New research by US scientists confirms that multitasking affects conditioned reflexes and can provoke overeating.
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How smartphones affect the brain activity and reflexes?
In March 2019, a group of American scientists conducted a study in the field of psychology. They hypothesized that the simultaneous use of multiple digital devices may be associated with obesity. A person scatters attention if he watches two screens at once. For example, he watches TV and flips through the feed on a social network on his smartphone. Over time, this can affect brain activity, including altering the response to hunger.
Researchers conducted an experiment: they selected more than 130 students aged 18 to 23 years (37% of them are overweight) and asked them to fill out a questionnaire. The respondents indicated in them how many hours a day they spend in front of a computer screen, how many devices they use, and whether this prevents them from performing their tasks. It turned out that young people who are used to using several gadgets at once are more likely to be distracted by external stimuli. Coincidence or not, but these respondents had a body mass index above normal.
Then all the participants in the experiment were sent for an MRI of the brain. During the scan, they were shown pictures of delicious food. And students from the multitasking user group reacted more actively to the images than others. They also showed a tendency to overeat.
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5 ways to reduce the risks from using gadgets
First of all, the authors of the study recommend do not turn on several devices at the same time. Listening to music from a player and reading news on a smartphone is not the best idea. Such a load is dangerous for the brain. There are a few more tips to heed for your health.
- Give your mind some rest. A walk in the park, sleep, meditation, or just a couple of minutes in silence will help unload thoughts.
- Reduce your session time. This will also help avoid vision problemsand posture. Specialists of the Russian National Research Medical University named after Pirogov is advised to spend no more than three hours a day in front of the phone screen. It's not easy in today's world, but you can start small.
- Do not forget about physical activity. Especially if you spend most of the day sitting in an uncomfortable position. Even regular charging is useful. Relax your muscles and joints and get back to work.
- Do yourself an electronic detox at least from time to time. Skip gadgets for a few hours and spend them outdoors with friends.