Technology comes at a cost. It is not just about the monetary costs. In this article, I put down some health-related costs that come with using or overly using smartphones. In using smartphones, you have to be smart; otherwise, you will end up with one or more health problems.
Health problems caused by Smartphones
Text Neck is a term used by doctors or physicians to describe the spinal disorder arising out of the excess usage of smartphones. Normally, if the head is upright, there is no stress on the neck part of the spine. But people tend to bend their necks up to 60 degrees to read and text on smartphones. This increases the pressure on the neck. Long-term usage of smartphones brings forth neck pain related to the spine and can be called spinal disorders. According to a survey published in Washington Post, around 80 percent of adult users suffer from this text neck pain.
The best way to avoid it is to bring up the phone to the level of your eyes and look straight into it. You need to make it a habit though it may look awkward. Another solution is to lower your eyes instead of bending your neck.
Reading small fonts on a smartphone can disturb your vision permanently. This problem happens as your eyes are constantly strained by looking at the blue light from the smartphone. Reading or using smartphones without external light further boosts the problem. Your vision becomes poor, and you might have to go for glasses.
The best way to avoid this is to look away from smartphones regularly. Look at something far off and focus on it before returning to the smartphone screen.
Another problem that comes with over usage of smartphones is the wrist problem. The way we hold smartphones for long durations strains the wrist. People usually hold their phones using the last three fingers and the thumb while using the forefinger to perform actions on the smartphone screens. Retaining the posture for longer durations every day tends to create pain in the wrist.
It is better to keep changing a phone’s posture when performing tasks like reading. You can put down the smartphone while lying on the bed or on the lap while sitting on a chair and look down at it instead of always holding it in your hands.
Similar to the above problem and for almost the same reasons, the fingers of smartphone users become numb and produce a tingling sensation. Holding the phone places stress from the elbows to the fingers. The hands above the elbow experience slower blood circulation and, if not corrected immediately, can have long-lasting effects. The forefinger, too, experiences the same and becomes numb after a while.
Instead of persisting in the same posture, putting the phone away for a while is recommended. Then perform some movement of arms and fingers so that the feeling goes away. I would advise keeping away the smartphone for at least one minute every fifteen minutes of usage when reading or texting. That would avoid permanent problems that may arise due to the persistence of prolonged usage, like when reading books on the phone.
You can download this PDF file from Surgical Technology International for a full read of their study.
You may also want to look at this post titled Mobile Phones Health Hazards, Risks, and Dangers.
I have listed only four health problems that may be caused due to using Smartphones for long periods. Check if you are addicted to the smartphone – and if you think you are, you may want to consider its usage pattern.
How your smartphone affects your brain and body?
It has been shown that overreliance on your smartphone can lead to mental laziness. People will become more dependent on remote storage if they can store information outside their brains, damaging their memory.
How do phones cause anxiety?
According to a study in the Journal of Child Development, teenagers suffering from sleep problems, depression, anxiety, and acting out may be a result of smartphones. Due to the blue light they emit, phones cause sleep problems. Your natural sleep cycle is controlled by melatonin, which is suppressed by this blue light.