Does your Smartphone impact on your health?
Smartphones have become a part of everyday life in the UK and worldwide and although most people now believe they couldn’t live without them, the possibility of long-term health implications seem to be being ignored by the general population.
New research findings from a recent survey by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) found that Brits are still holding on to using their phones despite experiencing ongoing back or neck pain after using their devices.
The research showed people were most likely to experience back or neck pain after using the following technological devices:
• Laptop computer (35%)
• Desktop computer (35%)
• Smartphone (22%)
• Tablet (20%)
• Games console (17%)
What age is affected by this the most?
The age group most likely to experience back or neck pain when using their mobile phones.
16-24-year-olds experience back or neck pain when using their smartphone
25-34-year-olds experiencing back or neck pain after using a laptop.
The INTERPHONE study (PDF, 176kb) was set up in 2000 and collected data in 13 countries. The aim was to see whether mobile phone use is associated with an increased risk of head and neck tumours. In May 2010 the results were released and indicated there was no increased risk of such tumours with mobile phone use.
Social and Psychological Effects:
This is one of the more heavily researched areas of mobile phone use. It is quite clear that mobile phones are affecting every part of relationships in the UK from how they are started to how they end. There are now multiple apps available for finding love and which can be regarded as a good thing opening new opportunities to start new relationships. However, the other side of this is that 1 in 3 adults state that their overuse of mobile phones has caused arguments in their relationship.
Overuse has made us a less emotionally connected species with depression on the rise and communication skills decreasing. Many people admit to checking their phone during the night significantly reducing sleep quality, and most use their phones directly before bed resulting in over stimulation of eyesight and a delay in reaching deep sleep. Both issues can lead to migraines and depression and are thought to lead to an overall reduction in quality of mental health.
There are an increasing number of scientists considering the physical effects of mobile phone usage on the human body. There has been a significant increase in a number of GP referrals being made due to musculoskeletal issues in teenagers and young adults that would typically be expected in older patients. These include Neck pain, reduced eyesight, carpal tunnel and repetitive strain injuries. Bad posture can be attributed to back and neck pain in youngster’s due to the hunched position many take while texting or playing on their phones, this seems to be causing more issues than the effects of bad posture from continued computer work and may be due to the 24/7 nature of mobile use. Problems with Eyesight have also been attributed to using mobiles in the dark due to the over stimulation caused by the backlight. This is also an issue with using laptops late at night. These physical effects can add up to an unhealthier person overall and lead to weight gain. Weight gain and obesity is already a huge health problem among the younger generations and it is scary to think mobile phones are contributing to this.
Give your eyes a break from your device
Alternate and work on an iPad
Get special glasses to help you look at your screen for long periods of time
Eat a diet with fruits and vegetables, organically raised red meats and Omega-3 known to protect your body and nervous system against radiation
Try to charge your phone in another room at night while you are sleeping
If your taking a long call alternate ears your listening to the conversation and you can use a headset and you could consider investing in a special headset called Blue Tube especially designed to minimise EMF called Blue Tube
According to Stanford University’s Environmental Health and Safety Department,
you should avoid using your mobile phone or your tablet for extended computer work.
You can use a larger screen monitor for your workstation.
Try not to tilt your head downwards when you are speaking on your phone. It will help you in the long run to maintain a good posture.
When you are reading the screen, bring the phone up to your eye level and you can also consider the font size is made larger so not to strain your eyesight.
If your phone is overheated turn it off for an hour and let it cool down
A less researched area is the physiological effects of mobiles on the body. There has been lots of speculation and media attention over the radiation you may be receiving from your mobile phone could cause Brain Cancer. However, most researchers agree that the type of radiation that is emitted from mobiles cannot cause cell alterations and therefore cannot cause cancer.
What you should probably be more concerned with is the number of germs and bacteria that is present on your phone and that you are consistently handling. Be honest with yourself have you ever cleaned your phone? A study conducted in 2012 showed that an average mobile had 10 times more germs on it than a toilet seat. This is believed to be due to people often passing their phones from person to person and never cleaning them. This level of bacteria is likely to cause all sorts of stomach bugs and illnesses and should be taken a lot more seriously.
Sources: British Chiropractic Association (BCA), Standford University,