How Your Cell Phone Usage is Affecting Your Health

· February 28, 2019
Although it's true that your cell phone can lead to health problems, as with any other device, you can avoid issues by using it moderately.

It’s hard to imagine life without a cell phone. When you’re in the car, you probably wonder how people got around before GPS, or how people lived without instant communication.

You don’t need a bookshelf for encyclopedias anymore, because you now have more information on your cell phone than ever before.

But their growing ubiquity has raised concerns about what they may be doing to our health.

Many people are suspicious of the electromagnetic waves. After all, it seems unlikely that such a powerful device could be harmless.

Also Read: What is Electromagnetic Radiation?

It’s true that radio waves are dangerous to your body. They enter through your ears and skin.

When they get inside your body, electromagnetic waves alter and weaken cell function. Therefore, experts recommend hands-free devices.

However, cell phone usage comes with other, more immediate concerns.

Find out what they are and take action.

A bunch of cell phones in a pile.

Health problems caused by cell phones

Anxiety

Smartphone notifications keep you on constant alert. There’s always a notification to check, an email to read, or a call to return.

The internet generates such an immense quantity of content that there’s always something to catch your attention.

This creates a significant level of stress, forcing you keep aware of your phone in a way that, up until recently, would have been unthinkable.

After all, many of us check our phones every few minutes.

A woman biting her fingernails off.

That fact makes it a good idea to turn off notifications a few hours per day. This way, besides getting rid of that constant feeling of restlessness, you’ll get used to doing things without always picking up your phone.

See Also: Is it Healthy to Cook Food in the Microwave?

Even if you use your cell phone for work, you should still try to disconnect from it. It’s not good to be at the office 24 hours a day.

Muscle and joint pain

This isn’t the expected answer to the question of what health problems cell phone usage causes, but it’s one of the most common.

When you’re texting or reading something on your cell phone, you tense up your back, neck, and arms. You also repeat the same movements over and over with your wrist and thumbs.

As a result, you get pain in these areas that turn into injuries, sometimes even chronic ones.

To keep this from happening, we recommend rationing your cell phone use while increasing the time you spend exercising.

A girl swimming in a pool.

One of the best forms of exercise for your body is swimming. It’s a full-body sport and works out all major muscle groups.

It’s also good because of the type of activity your muscles perform while swimming. They get stretched and toned, thus treating and preventing at the same time.

Insomnia as a result of your cell phone

We often make the mistake of grabbing our cell phone before going to bed or while we’re already in bed. You might think it’s helping you relax just like reading before going to sleep.

However, the constant updates and notifications capture your attention. Before you know it, the hours pass by and suddenly it’s the middle of the night.

That’s why we recommend setting your device aside at least an hour before bed and dedicating that time to relaxing activities or to the family.

A couple with a cell phone each in hand.

Phantom vibration syndrome

The relationship we have with our cell phone is very intimate and constant. A new syndrome has even arisen because of this.

Phantom vibration syndrome happens when you’re always thinking your device is vibrating, making you check your phone excessively. This interferes with your family and work life.

Establish limits

Your cell phone usage can indeed cause health problems, but they can be prevented by using your device reasonably.

Make an effort to be strict with the limits you give yourself and spend this time on activities you enjoy, whether it’s going to the movies, cooking, reading, dancing, etc.

Explore. There’s nothing better than spending your time doing something you’re passionate about without worrying about your notifications.

Gutiérrez, J. D. S., de Fonseca, F. R., & Rubio, G. (2016). Cell-phone addiction: A review. Frontiers in Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2016.00175

Rothberg, M. B., Arora, A., Hermann, J., Kleppel, R., & Visintainer, P. (2010). Phantom vibration syndrome among medical staff: A cross sectional survey. BMJ (Online). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c6914

Jenaro, C., Flores, N., Gómez-Vela, M., González-Gil, F., & Caballo, C. (2007). Problematic internet and cell-phone use: Psychological, behavioral, and health correlates. Addiction Research and Theory. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066350701350247

Acharya, J. P. (2016). A Study on Some of the Common Health Effects of Cell-Phones amongst College Students. Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education. https://doi.org/10.4172/2161-0711.1000214