How Safe Is Your Cell Phone?

It’s no secret that cell phones can be bad for you. Aside from the distraction they provide from everyday tasks, your phone can cause muscular issues, carry bacterial dangers and lead to addiction or other mental health concerns.

Perhaps the most valuable way to remedy these issues, is by being more aware of them in the first place. Here are a few health scares to know about your phone and ways to tone down problems before they escalate:

  •  Problem:  Unofficial muscular conditions known as “text claw” (caused by repetitive fine motor activity in the thumb and wrists) and “text neck” (excess pressure in the neck, head and shoulders from leaning forward)  can lead to tendinitis and soreness among other issues.
  • Solution:  Consciously practice good posture in the spine and hands. Set a reminder on your phone to put it away for a while, if need be.
  • Problem: Addiction and withdrawal are real admissions people  cite when they don’t have their phones. Such feelings can alter mental health states and lead to anxiety, regular fidgeting and isolation sentiments, among others.
  • Solution: Set a self-control lock to regulate your phone use. When out with friends or family, leave your phones in a stack together or leave them in the car. Making small bets and challenges (whoever uses their phone first has to pay for dinner etc.) implores people to use good judgement and avoid their phones for a while.
  • Problem: Invisible issues like germs and bacteria cling to phones brought into office spaces, bathrooms and public transit services. Recent studies have not found E. coli or Staph bacteria on frequently used phones, but Coliform (a sign of fecal contamination) was present on many.
  • Solution: Leave your phone in your pocket or bag when possible. A small break can help wean symptoms of addiction. How bad do you really need your phone on the toilet anyway?
  • Problem: Using your phone in bed, or leaving it there while you sleep, may wreak havoc on melatonin production. The LED light is said to cause disruptions that make it harder for people to fall asleep.
  • Solution: Avoid using your phone in bed. If you need to charge it or use it as an alarm at night, set up a charging station across the room. The forced motion makes you think as you to go reach for the device.

Do you find yourself experiencing health issues from your cell phone?

Photo credit: Matthew Pearce

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  1. I find the notifications to be distracting, but like to use my phone as a daily alarm clock. I will set it to silent and FLIP IT OVER before setting it on my nightstand. By flipping it over, I greatly reduce the amount of distraction from the blinking notification lights. My husband always has his at least on vibrate, which can still annoy me, but it’s on the other side of the bed, and at least I know if there was an emergency, someone could reach us.

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