Let technology be your path to wellness
People who travel alone, work with violent accused, or find themselves in other potentially dangerous situations may want to try out personal safety smartphone apps. These work in a variety of ways: they can allow loved ones to track you remotely via GPS; send out an alert to friends if you fail to check-in as having arrived home; or even initiate a call to first responders if you give your phone a vigorous shake. Try Kitestring, bSafe, Guardly, or one of the many others in this category.
Smartphone wellness apps
Applications like fitnet®, Pact, and Strava® can stand in for a workout buddy, personal trainer, or even your mother – reminding you to make time for wellness strategies and tracking your progress. Fitnet in particular is aimed at people with busy lives, prescribing specific workouts that take just 5-7 minutes.
Online support communities
A wide range of online support communities – often set up as bulletin boards or chat rooms – exist to promote supportive community-building. For general encouragement, try Weight Watchers® or SparkPeople®. If you have a specific health concern such as childhood illnesses, allergies, chronic pain, or cancer, you can find a community of people who have gone through the same thing. There are even communities focused on mental health: see for example MentalEarth or PsychCentral.
Count steps and calories burned, measure your heart rate, and even track your sleep with wearable technologies like FITBIT®, Garmin®, and Withings®. These devices now exist for every budget, and come in various styles, including some that masquerade as traditional wristwatches.
What’s next in wellness tech?
Wellness technologies are a huge growth area. Would you believe us if we told you that the following already exist?
- Glasses that can determine whether the wearer has sustained a concussion
- A pill bottle that tells you when you’ve missed a dose
- “Adult diapers” that diagnose urinary tract infections
- A t-shirt that warns the user about cardiac arrhythmias
These – and many other technologies – do exist, and new ones are being developed every year. It’s fun to think about – as long as you protect your sense of work/life balance by refraining from thinking about the legal implications!
Not a technology person?
Sometimes, nothing can replace support and wisdom from another human being who understands what you are going through. Homewood Health™ provides the confidential Member Assistance Program (MAP) for Ontario lawyers, paralegals, judges, students at Ontario law schools and accredited paralegal colleges, licensing-process candidates, and their families, with financial, arm’s-length support from the Law Society of Upper Canada and LawPRO. To learn more about the MAP, please visit myassistplan.com or call 1-855-403-8922.