TECH BYTE: Are Phones Bad For Mental Health?

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — If you spend too much time on your phone, could it impact your mental health?

Is digital technology good or bad for your wellbeing?

Google is working with the University of Oregon to find out.

They’re teaming up on a four-week-long study.

It’s being lead by psychology professor Dr. Nicholas Allen, who’s the school’s director of the Center for Digital Mental Health.

Dr. Allen says just because there’s seemingly limitless access to content, doesn’t mean this digital tech is entirely harmful. It has both benefits and risks.

He says this quality research is needed to see which patterns are helpful, and which ones aren’t. And who’s more likely to struggle.

This can help the tech industry make better products that benefit users more instead of hurting them.

Why not study the impact of technology with technology? Makes sense, right?

Researchers will look at how phone use measures against sleep patterns and exercise.

They’ll use Google’s Health Studies app to look over their findings.

The app can pull participant information straight from their smartphones.

That’s why Health Studies was designed – to let people contribute important health research with leading institutions by using their phones.

Users can also add relevant Fitbit data, including step count and physical activity.

If you’re interested in participating in the study, you need to have an Android phone.

You can sign up using that Health Studies app, available on Google Play.

Categories: Local News, Tech Byte, Technology