The Northland Age
It’s never too early to pin down healthy resolutions
You know it’s almost Christmas when the number of events and social gatherings advertised start to appear — and for someone like myself — start to fill the weekly calendar.
With the nearing of the festive season comes the usual countdown to the new year and a time to reflect on the year and to think about what I’d like to achieve for the year ahead.
It’s been a huge last 18 months stepping into the role as editor and while I’ve learnt and grown a great deal in a relatively short period of time, the demands of the role have also meant other things in my life (of which used to be a high priority) have unfortunately fallen a bit by the wayside.
Exercise, for example, was something that used to feature regularly in my life and is something I really need for my physical and mental wellbeing.
An earlier version of myself used to do a combination of Pilates, running, Cook Island hula, weights and hot yoga, sometimes five to six times per week.
I’ve also got a Certificate III in Group Fitness training, a matwork Pilates certification, as well as Hulanesian Fitness certification, so know what I need to do in terms of getting fit.
Because of the sometimes allconsuming nature of this position, however, I often find it difficult to make the time to exercise or to find the motivation to get myself to the
gym when I should be spending time with my whā nau, trying to catch up on emails, following up story leads or just attending to every day domestic duties that also require my attention.
I’ve noticed that I’ve also started to develop some unhealthy habits of working late into the night, which in and of itself isn’t great, and then end up spending an hour or more mindlessly scrolling through my phone, checking personal emails and messages and just catching up on the world outside the Far North.
According to a study by Auckland University, research has consistently shown that extended screen use is linked to dry eye disease in adults, but it’s also becoming common in younger people as well.
Over-stimulation of the brain right before bed is also linked to poor sleep quality which I’ve noticed has become an issue I’ve been struggling with, which in turn makes me overtired in the morning and less motivated to get up and exercise.
Sitting constantly at my desk all day long is also not great for my health and is also linked to higher risks of cardiovascular disease, as well as diabetes and poor posture.
I do admittedly have a standing desk, but I need to remind myself to actually stand up and not remain hunched over, shoulders tight and core loose as I hammer away at the keyboard.
I turn 40 next year and I think as with any major milestone in life, it’s got me contemplating the fact that this body of mine isn’t going to get any more limber, especially if it remains stagnant and sedentary.
I want to be able to move around without pain or discomfort for as long as possible and I know regular exercise and stretching combined with good nutrition and mental wellbeing are key to achieving that.
So as an accountability measure to myself, and maybe/hopefully inspiration to others thinking of doing the same, I am going to commit to doing at least 10 minutes of exercise every day in 2023, even if it’s just a 10-minute yoga stretch on my office floor or doing an hour long walk around Doubtless Bay where I live.
While I’m not expecting huge results or putting too much pressure on myself, my biggest hope is that exercise simply returns to becoming a normal part of my every day routine and in turn, my overall health and wellbeing starts to improve. Wish me luck!
My biggest hope is
that exercise simply returns to becoming a normal
part of my every day routine and in turn, my overall
health and wellbeing starts to
completely over the top. Therefore I, like many, am angry at the unilateral action this Government proposes. Tony Lewis
Takapuna Consumers in the dark? Consumer NZ conducted a mystery shop and found a lack of information about the repairability and reliability of smartphones and laptops at bigbox retailers.
The mystery shoppers hit four retailers — Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming, PB Tech and Warehouse Stationery (most were in The Warehouse stores). They asked the salespeople for advice about a product’s common faults, what happens if it broke outside the warranty period, whether it could be repaired, and where it could be repaired.
During our mystery shop, most salespeople were evasive about common faults with devices.
Our own data shows faults are much more prevalent than the salespeople indicated. There’s currently no way of knowing whether a product will be reliable or easily repairable.
We are calling for a product repairability label so consumers have unbiased information upfront when shopping for new tech.
A repairability label would tell you how easy a product is to repair before you buy it.
Laptops and smartphones are pricey items. Shoppers should be able to make an informed purchase, with confidence their device will perform reliably and last a reasonable length of time.”
A 2021 tech reliability survey by Consumer found 13 per cent of smartphone users experienced a fault with their phone within five years of purchase — and 44 per cent of the faults happened within the first year. For 51 per cent of faulty phones, the problem was major or catastrophic. Nearly one in five laptops bought in the previous five years had developed a fault, according to the survey.
Of those faults, 44 per cent appeared within the first 12 months of purchase. Three-quarters of the faults were reported as major or catastrophic.
Mystery shoppers were told smartphones could last anywhere from one to seven years, and forking out for a high-end device was the road to long-lasting satisfaction.
A salesperson at PB Tech told the shopper an Oppo phone would last about 12 months, but at this price ($257), it would have done its job.
Another PB Tech salesperson said an Apple iPhone 13 could last between five and six years.
Samsung was also recommended as a durable choice; the salesperson said they’d had a Samsung S6 since 2015, and it was still going strong.
Noel Leeming’s salesperson said the Samsung Galaxy A32 had a shorter life expectancy: “[It would last] probably a couple of years . . . unless you go for something, like, really high end.”
A mystery shopper at Warehouse Stationery was told a Samsung Galaxy would last “easily three years” unless it’s used for video games, which would bring its life expectancy down to just six months.
Similarly, the average life of a laptop ranged from “a few years” through to five.
The Apple MacBook was sold as the most durable option at Noel Leeming, with a five-year lifespan.
PB Tech deserves an honourable mention for naming laptop faults.
Our mystery shopper was told batteries, fraying power cords and internal graphics cards could be problems.
Unrepairable products hit our pockets and our planet hard.
New Zealand is the only country in the OECD without e-waste regulations. We need things to change. If we can shop based on how long products will last and how repairable they are, manufacturers and retailers will be forced to lift their game.
Consumer is calling for a repairability label so shoppers can easily access independent and verified information to help them make well-informed choices.
Sign Consumer’s Right to Repair petition to add your voice to its call for a repairability label. You can sign the petition and read about Consumer’s other Right to Repair work on its campaign page.
Dr Paul Smith