How Your Smartphone Is Damaging Your Health

July 30, 2018 4:37 pm

It’s said that they’re slowly turning us into a nation of zombies, walking around dangerously distracted with our eyes pointed downwards, missing out on real life as we watch it from behind a screen. Smartphones have brought so many benefits to our lives, but their impact on our health and mental wellbeing is only just beginning to be understood. From chronic insomnia to neck pain and anxiety, these little devices can come with a whole heap of big consequences. Not to mention how inattention caused by those constantly pinging notifications has caused many accidents, some of them fatal – a momentary lapse in concentration while driving and many people have then needed the services of a Professional Negligence Solicitors. So, is it time to limit our usage of these destructive devices? Or can we counteract the worst of it?

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Vision Problems

Strain to our eyes is one of the most common side-effects of smartphone use. Squinting at small screens, bright blue-spectrum light and small text sizes create a perfect storm of problems for vision strain and can to non-reversible myopia, or short-sightedness. To help with this,train yourself to glance up and refocus on the middle distance every minute or so, and set the blue light display cancel function on your handset for the evenings.

Worsening Anxiety

It isn’t just our physical health, but our mental wellbeing that can take a battering. Plenty of people now report suffering an addiction to their smartphones, and with social feeds specifically engineered to trigger this but causing dopamine spikes in the brain, it’s a growing problem. This can lead to withdrawal anxiety, insomnia and a massive loss of focus and productivity. Try to balance how often you check your phone and consider switching off notifications and using a social media blocking app to limit access if you need to get something done. Try to have at least a few smartphone free hours a day.

Triggering RSI and Carpal Tunnel

Once linked to work practices,doctors are now seeing more and more cases or Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) as a result of handset use. With constant typing of Tweets, texts and emails, tendons can become inflamed, and joints can degenerate. The only way to combat this is to limit the amount of use we give our phones each day. A phone ban in the evenings is beginning to sound like a very bright idea!

Sleep Disorders

Insomnia is a huge and growing problem among adults, and smartphone usage has a lot to answer for. Use of electronic media at night has been shown as highly disruptive to the body’s natural Circadian Rhythm, the pattern of chemicals that signals to our bodies when it’s time to go into sleep mode. In particular, that blue light emitted by our beloved devices can suppress the pineal gland from producing melatonin, the sleep hormone which prevents or disrupts us from sleep. Thankfully, most handsets now come with a blue light cancelling filter and counter this. Without activating that, disrupted sleep, low mood, fragile mental health and even weight gain can follow.

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