People living without electronics are healthier



Diseases such as diabetes, depression, cancer and ADHD were extremely rare a century ago.  They are still rare among people who live without electronics


Keywords: electricity, electronics, wireless, health effect, ADHD, diabetes, depression     


According to a 2019 study, the number of younger people with ADHD, depression, diabetes and other “diseases of affluence” is skyrocketing (Blue Cross Blue Shield, 2019).  This is the first generation that was exposed to all sorts of electronics since birth.  Could that be the reason?


Another study found that as electric service was rolled out across the United States in the years 1920 to 1956, childhood leukemia followed closely behind (Milham, 2001).


Preliminary research in Canada suggests that dirty electricity, caused by electronics, can worsen ADHD and diabetes (Havas, 2004a, 2004b, 2008).


The Amish

The Amish is a Christian sect that values community, modesty and simple living.  They live mostly in rural parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana in the United States.


The Old Order Amish are famous for living without telephones, televisions, cars and electricity (Scott, 2016).  These devices all irradiate their users, especially the cars.


The Old Order Amish are not automatically opposed to all modern things, but their elders evaluate whether each new technology would benefit their community or not.  A particular concern is the integrity of their tight-knit societies (Scott, 2016).


Telephones, radios and televisions would bring in ideas and images that could be disruptive.  Television is especially effective at making people who are not rich unhappy with their lives.


The Amish do recognize that sometimes cars and telephones are necessary, so they allow their members to use telephone booths or hire someone to drive them.  The key here is to make it inconvenient, so it is only used when really needed.


Some modern inventions are allowed, such as the use of pesticides and herbicides for farming.


Amish are healthy

The Amish have much lower levels of obesity, cancer and diabetes than other Americans (Kluger, 2018).  ADHD is virtually unknown among Amish children (Sheman, 2017).




Some scientists point to the more active lifestyles of the Amish.  Since their only machinery is horse-driven, they do a lot of manual work and walk a lot more.  Some also suggest they simply have good genes (Kluger, 2018).


Dr. Michael Ruff is a pediatrician who serves 800 Amish households.  He states “We haven’t diagnosed a single child in this group with ADHD... On the other hand we care for several Amish families who have left the church and adopted a modern lifestyle, and we do see ADHD... in their kids.  Obviously, the genes in these two groups are the same.  What is different is their environment” (Sherman, 2017).


Could it be the electronics pervading the modern lifestyle that makes the difference and not just the lack of exercise that comes with modern conveniences?


What to learn from this

Living totally without electricity is difficult in many ways, and not always healthy.  The Amish tend to use kerosene lanterns for lighting, cook their meals on woodstoves and heat their homes with firewood.


There are alternatives to the Amish lifestyle, though there are no studies testing how much they improve human health.


Reducing the exposures in your house may help.  It can be as simple as moving the bed and unplugging everything in the bedroom at night.  Or it can involve modifying the wiring in various ways.


A few people live in DC electric houses, as DC electricity appears to be healthier than AC (just be aware of the many pitfalls here).


More information

For articles about low-EMF house wiring, etc., see


For DC living, go to




Sources and references

This author have friends in Amish country and have watched when the Amish neighbors needed a car ride or to borrow the phone.  On two occasions I have visited Amish farmsteads – once to buy produce where they explained the acceptance of pesticides.


Havas, Magda, Michelle Illiatovich and Cameron Proctor.  Teacher and student response to the removal of dirty electricity by the Graham/Stetzer filter at Willow Wood school in Toronto, Canada, Biological effects of EMFs, 3rd international workshop, October 2004.


Havas, Magda and David Stetzer.  Dirty electricity and electrical hypersensitivity:  five case studies, World Health Organization workshop on electrical hypersensitivity, October, 2004.


Havas, Magda.  Dirty electricity elevates blood sugar among electrically sensitive diabetics and may explain brittle diabetes, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27, June 2008.


Kluger, Jeffrey.  Amish people stay healthy in old age.  Here’s their secret. TIME, February 15, 2018.


Scott, Stephen and Kenneth Pellman, Living without electricity: lessons from the Amish, New York:  Good Books, 2016.


Sherman, C. et al. Culture vs. biology: what really causes ADHD? ADDitude, undated, approximately 2017.