top of page

Physical Risk

Finally, some people are concerned that ICT products and services can be dangerous and might cause physical harm. Perceptions of physical risk appear through concerns around ICT addiction and the impact to mental and physical health. Examples of this physical risks include physical inactivity, becoming addicted to ICT, eyesight, or strain injury.

For Amon, these perceptions of risk manifest in the following ways:

Example 1
Amon 3
“I fear that I might become addicted to ICT.”

Example 1

This risk presents itself when older people are surprised by the amount of time that has passed when on their device, and they have a fear of becoming addicted to it. For instance, Amon prefers to use his time chatting and playing cards with friends from his ethnic community. He believes going online might isolate him from his friends.

Example 2
“I fear being too physically inactive.”
Amon 1

Example 2

Physical risks may manifest as a fear that one will become physically inactive if one spends time with an ICT device. For example, Amon thinks spending too much time in front of the computer might make him sedentary and create health problems.


Can you relate to those example above?  Go to strategies to learn about how Amon can address these issues.

Individual Strategies for Managing Physical Risk

Amon Strategy-1


Set a timer. ICT devices are there to assist you. You are in control, so it’s important to set usage boundaries. Consider using a timer and have frequent breaks from screens– at least 10 minutes every hour.


Apps. Remove distracting apps off your home screen and consider installing an app that tracks your smartphone habits so that you can set a specific usage goal and see how well you stick to it. Consider trading your games apps for those that monitor your health and activity.


Be in the moment. Make sure you don’t look at your screen while driving or walking. You don’t want to hurt yourself or someone else.


Be physical. Make learning and using ICT physically active: search online for some fun exercises or online movement classes you can do. For instance, try a Tai Chi 5-minute YouTube session.


Be focused. Avoid aimless browsing. Give your time online a purpose: Family history, photography, research holidays, catch up on the news of the day or find the answer to that random question that’s been bothering you for ages. Then log off!

Relational Strategies for Managing Physical Risk

Amon Strategy-2


Interacting with people in person. Social and physical activities are important. Organise time with your family and friends to go for a walk, visit an event, or go out for a meal. Use technology to help organise these events.


Set boundaries. If you feel you are getting addicted, set a limit to your mobile use and tell close friends or family that you may not be responding to their messages as quickly as you used to.


Check in. Have a good relationship with your doctors and medical specialists. Have regular health checks and discuss your ICT usage with your doctors. They can help you monitor your use.


Health issues. If you have any health issues that prevent you from learning ICT (weaker eyesight, hearing, or shaky hands), consider discussing these issues with ICT mentors and tutors at your local libraries or senior organisation. There might be tools, tips, and solutions to help you better integrate appropriate technological devices with your limitations.


Courses. Making learning and using ICT socially and physically active: attend ICT and non-ICT classes at U3A or your local libraries, and find learning buddies in your community.
Anker 1

Strategies to Managing Perceived Physical Risk

The fear generated by physical risk is aligned both with the person’s ICT ability and the person’s confidence to overcome the perceived risk and try to engage with the digital device. There are individual strategies people can do themselves to manage this risk, as well as relational strategies which consider the role of social influence on a person’s ability to try new things and interact with ICT.


You may be interested in
Other potential risks
that Amon is facing:

will this digital device work the way I want it to – it includes forgetting instructions and managing passwords.
concerns about feeling incompetent, getting frustrated and being overwhelmed with digital technology.
fears focused with online payments, losing privacy, identity theft and automatic payments.
worries about online transactions, not receiving the purchased goods and processing errors.
fear of buying too much online and the costs with upgrading software and devices.
Amon Strategy 6
bottom of page