This is so relevant to us as educators, especially those of us (and if you’re reading this that means you) who spend a lot of time on the computer. Electromagnetic stress is the stress that our systems experience as a result of being near electric devices, such as computers, microwaves, photocopiers, mobile phones, televisions and hairdryers (hairdressers evidently suffer a lot from this). I’d love to see a study measuring the impact of interactive whiteboard installation into classes over the last five years or so.
The theory behind electromagnetic stress is that the radio waves in the electric field that surrounds the above devices are toxic and interfere with our system’s normal functioning. A classic example that clearly illustrates this phenomenon of this is the on-going research assessing if mobile phones cause brain cancer. Other ways of describing this issue might include as electrosmog exposure or blue light radiation. Blue light refers to the light which is thrown off screened appliances and can interfere with our brain activity as it messes with our circadian rhythms.
How do I reduce the impact of electromagnetic stress?
Using electrical devices in this day and age is almost inevitable. However, reducing the amount of time in front of screens can help to reduce the amount of electromagnetic stress we are exposed to. This is particularly relevant at night time as working on a computer late into the evening can result in difficulties getting to sleep (I wonder how quickly I’ll drop off tonight?) Keeping sleeping areas completely clear of electric devices (including televisions and electric alarm clocks) can help, as can spending more time in nature (without your mobile phone in your pocket). Further to this, deliberately devoting time away from our devices (known as ‘digital detoxes’) are increasingly being sought as a way to de-stress and unwind and reduce the toxic side-effects of electromagnetic stress.