You’re probably reading this article on your phone, and if not, you must’ve used your phone in the last 6 hours. It’s needless to say how important phones and other mobile devices are, and almost can’t be done without in the age we’re in. As helpful as these devices may be, they have their negative sides; they could ruin your health if misused. Obsession with social media, usually, is a major cause of the challenges encountered with devices. So, yeah, with the coming of devices is the introduction of new syndromes. Did you know that more than a whopping 1.9 million smartphones are sold daily, and the average American spends over 3 hours on their phone every day? Surprised, right? I was too when I found out. Phones are used at all times and in all places. The bathroom and pool aren’t exempted. Seen waterproof phones?
So what Are these Health Challenges?
People who operate their phones when they go to bed, just before they sleep take a longer time to fall asleep, and usually don’t sleep deep. The blue light which screens emit restrain the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm (the body’s internal clock that is concerned with sleep and wakefulness). It’s safe to be in a gadget-free mode 30 minutes before bedtime. Remember that insufficient and low-quality sleep can cause a migraine, depression, continual fatigue, weakened immunity, weight gain, high blood pressure, poor memory and other health challenges.
Why would you want to endanger your health anyway?
Head and Neck Problems
You can have Anterior Head Syndrome by looking down at your phone for too long. Anterior head syndrome happens when the head moves forward past the center of gravity. This further leads to damaged vertebra muscular tension with compressed and degenerative discs in the back, not forgetting neck pain, numbness and headaches. Take your phone to eye level instead of bending your head so low to look into your phone. I know taking your phone to eye level in public places could be a challenge because of shoulder surfers. But think about it; would you rather be at risk of head and neck problems? You need to find a way around it; perhaps avoid doing personal stuff on your phone in public.
Prolonged stares at mobile phones cause squinting and straining of muscles, especially now that it appears that the smarter the phone the smaller it is. The squinting and straining will eventually lead to headaches, dry eyes, and blurry vision.
Obesity knocks, will you open? You open if you sit for so long chatting and surfing the net on that phone in your hands. How? Your phone keeps you in your seat for so long that your physical activities reduce; what else? You’re probably snacking most of the time. You exercise less because you spend more time on your device. Obesity may eventually lead to hypertension, a stroke, Coronary Artery Disease, Coronary Vascular Disease, Heart attack, cancer and kidney related problems.
The blue light from your smartphone, known as High-Energy Visible (HEV) light penetrates the skin so deeply that it damages collagen, one of the most abundant proteins in the body that makes up a large part of the skin, hair, and nails. What else? It worsens pigmentation problems such as melasma, a skin problem common with pregnant women.
Those unbelievable twitter posts will definitely make you have wrinkles on your forehead. The wrinkles won’t stop at your forehead, they`ll extend to your chin and neck as you keep looking down at your phone. What else? You are promised a sagging skin and drooping jowls. Give this a good thought.
What about Ringxiety?
You’ve heard anxiety, now ringxiety. Do you find yourself reaching to answer your phone, only to find out it never rang? You may just have ringxiety. I used to have this problem and I never knew there was a term for it. It really is a problem. It is a disorder that affects mobile phone addicts. It other times comes as a result of high expectations for a call or a message. It comes with the loss of concentration and other forms of distraction. Try to get less attached to your phone. You really can, if you try.
And your Memory?
So get ready to be shocked. You take the shots, you select filters, and post on Instagram. You then get overly dependent on your phone memory and social media updates.
Here is what I mean…
Each time you take a picture at supposedly memorable moments, asides you getting distracted doing all that, you are quick to forget those moments, at least faster than those who didn’t take pictures because you left the memory for your gallery. Sounds crazy, right? But it is true. You really can’t recall those moments as the folks who don’t take pictures would, of course, except you look at the pictures, which won`t give you the kind of memory others have. Why melt your memory?
What about Rising ADHD in Children?
A major cause for the increase in the rate of diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children is the use of gadgets shortly before bedtime resulting in delayed and shorter sleep. What else? They spend more time indoors on gadgets and less time in sunlight. This puts them at risk of ADHD too.
So much has been said about how these devices could be harmful, even though the devices themselves are beneficial. So it is how we use them that determines if they`re harmful or not. There are healthy ways to use these devices, let`s get talking!
For a Healthier Mobile Phone Use…
Use the Night Shift Functionality
To avoid the risk of diabetes and obesity linked to constant exposure of your eyes to the light emitted by your phone, simply use the night shift option. You`ve really got to stop suppressing melatonin in your body system.
Avoid Wearing your Phone
Don’t put your phone in your front shirt pocket; your front pants pocket is not a better place either. The idea is that the phone should be away from your body as much as possible. Your phone constantly receives signals; the erratic radiator may cause some worry. Putting your phone in your purse or bag may just be a better idea.
And Pressing your Phone to your Ear?
There are speculations here and there that the phone radiation will lead to brain tumors, cancers and other challenges. Why risk it anyway? It may just be safe to use earphones or the speakerphone functionality; anything, as long as you don’t press the phone to your ear.
We have come to realize the fact that a number of things in themselves are not bad; it`s abuse that takes a heavy toll on us. If you desire to stay healthy, then you must avoid abusing anything, and in this case, gadgets. Adjusting to proper ways of using these devices may be a problem because you are accustomed to using them in certain ways, wrong ways, really for over a decade or two. Yes, it may take a while to adjust, however, adjusting is not impossible. It only takes some discipline.