Definition of Digital Health and Wellness

by | Jul 28, 2020

digital wellness

Digital wellness refers to being physically, socially and emotionally healthy amidst our technologically centered world. We use technology more often than not during the day, in almost every form you can think of. And this is only increasing year after year. Back in 2009, 32% of our free time was spent on a device. By now, that number has passed 90%. So digital wellness is of the utmost importance for creating balance and making healthy decisions with our devices.

Digital wellness involves how people engage with the technology around them. Let’s compare two people’s digital wellness. The first is Sam, and the second is Sarah. Sarah is on her phone for almost four hours during the day, as most people are. She spends the vast majority of that time scrolling through social media to see what her friends are up to. This often causes her to compare herself to not only her friends, but strangers she follows who tend to portray a perfect life. She only Snapchats her friends, and doesn’t call her family very often.

Sam, on the other hand, spends the same amount of time on his phone as Sarah, but in very different ways. Sam uses it to catch up with loved ones via FaceTime, and listen to his favorite educational podcast. He uses a workout app for his daily run, and he reads the news on his phone for 20 minutes every morning. As you can see, the screen time might be the same, but the outcome is different. Sam makes decisions that lead him to more solid digital wellness. Sarah’s decisions aren’t as productive in terms of digital wellness, and can soon lead to other areas of health being affected. It’s good to note that Sam likely spends time on social media too, but he sprinkles in things that keep him on track toward his goals.

The Importance of Digital Wellness

Digital health and wellness is intertwined with every aspect of health, from social, to emotional, to physical. If a person has poor digital wellness, other areas of health can see the same effects.

Overuse of social media can lead to problems with emotional wellness, like anxiety and depression. It can lead to feelings of comparison and inferiority, with statistics showing 90% of college-age adults compare themselves to peers within 15 minutes of waking up. A lack of balance in digital behaviors leads to strain on social relationships. Think of the last time you were spending time with friends or family and they were more interested in their phone than you. And finally, digital wellness is connected to physical wellness as too much screen time promotes a sedentary lifestyle and can cause sleep disruptions, headaches and eye strain.

As you can see, digital wellness isn’t separate from the other areas of health. It’s unique to our modern technological society, but it is a piece of the puzzle that is overall health, and can have a domino effect when someone has poor digital wellness.

The BetterYou Solution

BetterYou steps in to help out users’ digital wellness before it significantly impacts those other areas of health. We help users optimize their digital experience, and make digital decisions that align with their goals and values. These are goals in four categories of health: physical, social, education and mindfulness.

Think back to the example of Sam and Sarah. If Sarah was a BetterYou user, she’d have a digital coach in her pocket helping her change her decision making. If she’s been idle on Instagram for a while, BetterYou might help her out by reminding her she set a mindfulness goal. Let’s say she’s up too late. The app reminds her she said her bedtime was important.

By running in the background, BetterYou helps steer users toward improving their own digital wellness. Because if we spend 90% of free time on our devices, think of the great things we can accomplish with that time.

Interested in learning more about how we can help your employee population improve their steps and sleep while reducing burnout?

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