How Your Smartphone is Affecting Your Health

Image Soure: www.lifehacker.com.au

Image Soure: www.lifehacker.com.au

Do you ever think about how your smartphone is affecting your health – especially if you’re reading this article on your smartphone at the moment? With smartphone owners in America spending an average of 4.7 hours a day on it according to research by Informate Mobile Intelligence, that amounts to more than 25% of your waking hours! Needless to say, along with all the benefits of a smartphone – as a GPS, social connection device, source of all the information you need at your fingertips – it comes with its own drawbacks as well. Here’s how your smartphone could be impacting your health:

Do you have wrist and arm aches?

For those who tend to grip their phones with one hand and text with their thumbs, the most direct impact of holding on to your smartphone for extended periods of time is when your hand starts to feel fatigue in the form of muscle aches, ending up with cramped and sore arms, hands and shoulders. Tingly sensations and numbness also points to nerve issues, where nerve endings are getting pinched because of the position your hand is in. This could get in the way of day-to-day functioning – after all, our hands are made for more than handling mobile devices! – and needs to be tended to before it gets worse. In the worst-case scenario, surgery might even be necessary. Though rare, you don’t want to be one of the exceptions!

Are you feeling sleep-deprived?

Checking your phone right before bedtime often leads to reduced sleep quality. The white light from your phone sends a signal to your brain that governs sleep cycles, affecting the signal that tells you it’s night and time for bed, which in turn affects the ability to feel sleepy and to stay asleep. If you’re finding it hard to fall asleep and wake up in the morning still feeling tired and groggy, your smartphone could be the culprit.

Is your attention span is getting shorter?

Constant checking of social media feeds is akin to getting a hit of high that a drug induces. As you repeatedly check your phone to relieve your boredom, you may inadvertently become addicted to that endorphin rush or ‘reward’, affecting your attention span as you constantly interrupt yourself mid-task. Over time, your ability to concentrate for long periods of time may become shorter, as you start reaching for your phone more and more. This may seem harmless, but with a shorter attention span and higher propensity for distraction, multi-tasking actually puts you in harm’s way. In the US alone, 25% of car accident fatalities involve smartphones in some way, with 341,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2013 that involve texting, according to the National Safety Council.

While these impacts may not seem very severe or alarming, over time, over use of your smartphone can lead to a detriment in your overall well-being. Setting boundaries around your smartphone use might prove to be a wise choice in the long run!

Filed in: Blog, Health, Technology

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