What are the adverse effects of Smartphones?
Smartphones are being used by billions of people all over the globe. It has become a part and parcel of our day to day activities. We can not think of spending a small amount of time without smartphones. It is a very useful medium to connect us with the world. But even a small amount of adverse effects of smartphones can be hazardous to health in the long run. The adverse effects of smartphones on health can have serious implications. Health impacts depend upon the number of calls being received or made per day, and the amount of time being spent on smartphones.
The smartphones emit radiofrequency energy- non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. Which can be absorbed by body tissues close to the phone. The amount of radiofrequency a user is exposed to depends upon- the distance a user keeps between himself and the mobile phone, the duration of mobile usage, and the distance between the mobile tower and mobile user. The quality of a mobile phone being used also plays a vital role in exposure to radiofrequency energy by the user.
The adverse effects of smartphones.
Some researchers suggest that smartphone use can have an adverse effect on the health of children also. It may impact their social and emotional development. It can result in a disturbed sleeping pattern. And may convert people into lazy thinkers. As per a study published in the Journal of association for consumer research- Smartphones significantly reduce cognitive capacity (The capacity of the brain to retain information at any particular moment). The cognitive capacity is impacted even if the smartphone is off but within the reach.
It is suggested that we should spend a restricted amount of time watching our mobile phones. A whole lot of evidence suggests that we are spending more than the required amount of time starring our phones, which is creating an impact on our:-
- Creativity & Productivity
- Problem-solving and decision-making skills.
- Attention spans
- Relation ships
Is looking at your phone bad for you?
Every time, when we look at our phones our stress hormone – Cortisol rises, threatening our health by creating a negative impact on our heart rate, blood sugar level, and blood pressure. For more reading about- How to cut down stress levels? << Please click.
Once we check our phone, we find something stressful, leading us to crave to check it again. Thus creating a cycle of watching it again and again. If this cycle is continued it leads to chronically elevated cortisol levels. Chronically elevated cortisol levels in the long-run impact our health. And may lead to health issues like:-
- Depression:– As per recent research, it was found that there exists a link between smartphone dependency and depression. However, it is not clear whether smartphone dependency adds to depression. Or persons under depression and due to loneliness relies more on smartphones.
- High blood pressure:– Use of smartphones causes an increase in blood pressure. It was found that while attending a phone call there is a significant increase in blood pressure.
- Fertility issues:- Smartphone use creates an adverse effect on male fertility. As per a study it was found that smartphone usage adversely affects the quality of semen by- decreasing sperm count, motility, viability, and morphology.
- Obesity:- Overuse of smartphones may lead to lesser physical activities. As per a study it was found that students who use smartphones five or more hours per day are at increase risk of obesity and overweight.
- Type-2 Diabetes:– Using smartphones for more than three hours per day increases the risk of type-2 diabetes.
- Heart diseases:– As per a study mobile phones may cause heart arrhythmia, heart palpitation, or rapid heartbeat.
- Stroke:- As per a study, it was found that exposure to a rare metal found in mobile phones may increase the risk of stroke.
- Memory loss:- Excessive use of smartphones may cause memory loss. As per the study by the researchers at Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute(Swiss TPH)- Increasing exposure to mobile devices negatively affects the figural memory of adolescents. Figural memory enables us to make sense of images, patterns, and shapes. It is located in the right hemisphere of the brain. Therefore people who hold the phone next to the right ear are more affected.
How to lower the risk of adverse effects?
Limiting electronic screens watching time:- Sleep gets affected by exposure to too much light after sunset. The blue light emitted by smartphones and other electronic screens create an adverse effect on the sleeping pattern. Lack of sleep is linked to other health disorders like- diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart diseases, and stroke, etc. The blue light can suppress the release of the sleep-inducing hormone- melatonin. The amount of time spent on watching electronic screens increases- The delay in the release of melatonin. Which causes difficulty in falling asleep and affects the quality of sleep also. Avoiding smartphone watching- A minimum of two hours before sleeping time. And instead of watching smartphones, adopting a habit of reading books may help in inducing good sleep. For more reading about- Heart health linked to quality sleep. << Please click.
Taking care of your eyes:- The shorter wavelength blue light emitted by smartphones may cause strain on your eyes. Which can cause pain in the eyes. In extreme cases, the overuse of smartphones for longer durations may damage the cornea of the eyes. Which can impact vision. Thus the electronic screens including smartphones should be used for a limited amount of time. And taking breaks while working on electronic screens gives your eyes much needed rest.
Limiting exposure to radiations:- Over-exposure to radiations can be taken care, by limiting smartphone use. Or use it by calling through speakers or using the earpiece.
Avoiding distractions:- Smartphones cause distractions. Injuries like- muscle strain, fracture, head injuries, usually happen while walking or working and talking. Even medical professionals can have diverted attention due to smartphones. Which may result in mistakes. As per a study it was found that mistakes in checking symptoms and improper treatment increased by more than 12% by a single interruption by smartphone.
Thus smartphones should be used judiciously, with caution, and within restricted time limits.
Wishing all to be in a healthy state.
(For awareness purposes only).
Blogger & Marketing consultant
Having 40+ years of experience in the healthcare industry. Modern medicine & Ayurveda.
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