Does Technology Make Us Lazy?


As I hopped on the Red Link to head back to East after class today, I realized how ridiculous it was that I was taking the bus rather than simply walking a couple blocks back to my room. Maybe it would have been justifiable if my destination was all the way across campus, or if it had been raining or chilly. But no, it was the picture perfect day - sun shining, not too hot and not too cold - and I was taking the damn bus (which honestly probably wasn't even a quicker route to the dorm). At that moment, it came to my attention that what our parents and grandparents are telling us may just be true: Technology is making us lazy.

Whether it's taking a bus instead of running or walking, using the remote control to switch the channel instead of doing it manually, playing the latest version of Madden instead of backyard football, or texting the comment wall rather than raising our hand to ask a question, technology may be causing our society to become lazy in all aspects of life. Now it's all well and good to take advantage of opportunities, but when it begins to affect our health and mental well-being, it might be safe to say we have a problem. 

In a BBC News Article, Dr. Richard Weiler and Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis argue that technology, such as energy-saving devices like remote controls, has lead humanity to an inactive lifestyle which poses risks to our health. The article goes on to quote the doctors saying, "Sedentary living is the most prevalent disease, biggest silent killer and greatest health threat facing developed countries." Since we are spending more than three hours watching TV a day instead of doing something active in that timespan, humans are living very unhealthily, which is ultimately leading to shortened lives. This Review claims that in the last fifty years, up to 100,000 Americans lost their lives due to inactivity leading to some sort of condition such as heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, etc. 

Based on the observation that inactivity has increased over the last 50 years, along with technology, I think there is definitely a correlation between the two. Although I do not have all the facts to make it a strong correlation, I think a rational person would concur that as technology increases, so does inactivity in people. It just makes sense that since most of us can agree we spend a good deal of time behind a computer or TV screen during our day, we are naturally more inactive than if we didn't have this technology, or at least didn't use it so often.

So, Science200, do you use a lot of technology? And if so, do you consider yourself inactive or lazy?



This is a really relevant topic! We now live in a world that is constantly overwhelmed with technology. While revolutionary advancements in our knowledge have brought about wonderful and incredible things, like the Internet and transportation, these developments can have negative implications on society. The integration of cell phones into our daily life has had an impact on the way we do things. Speaking for myself, I know that I heavy rely on the capabilities of my iPhone to get me through the day. Becoming so dependent on it seems like such a silly and trivial problem to have! I can relate to your example of hopping on the bus, as I definitely catch myself being lazy sometimes. I think more of our generation should be aware of this, and hopefully those who read your post will have a similar realization.

I agree with your thoughts on how there is a strong correlation between technology and inactivity. If you observe the trend on obesity in the US it supports this correlation too. As more technology devices are created the more inactive we become. If you look at poorer countries than the United States too, the correlation is supported. Countries that have a weaker economy and therefore less technological advances have smaller people. Yes there are other factors too as to why they are smaller than US citizens (shortage on food, weak government, etc), but the fact that we do have all of these privileges make us lazier. Shouldn't it be the opposite way around? One would think that since we have all of these advantages we would be grateful and not want to sit on our butts all day but apparently not.

I completely agree with your thoughts on this topic. Technology is easily the main reason we are facing all of these problems with childhood obesity and obesity in general, along with fast food, which is a result of technological increases as well. Now people are constantly sitting around watching hours of TV shows or playing endless video games. Here is an unbiased article from the Huffington Post about technology

I completely agree that technology is the biggest reason why we are so lazy. I definitely feel that is also the reason why we have such a huge problem with obesity in this country. Technology has made everything available at our fingertips and made having to get up and be active completely unnecessary. I also feel like this is a change that is relatively new and has started becoming a major issue in the past ten years. Personally when I was around ten years old I remember being so much more active. I would constantly be playing outside or riding my bike or doing something, but whatever I was doing I was up and moving. Now when I compare that to my brother who is ten now I realize that he lives in a completely different world. At any point in the day he is either sitting in front of the Xbox, iPad, or just watching TV. IT is so crazy to me how the lives of children have changed so much in ten years. They have become so much lazier and it’s all because technology is letting them be. I found this great article that talks about the correlation between the rise of technology and the rise of obesity in the US.

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