Smartphones are an important part of our lives. It is very difficult to pass a day now without using a phone. Reports show that an average American spends 58 minutes on their phone per day, with only 26% of total time spent actually speaking on the phone. The rest of the time is spent texting or browsing the multitude of other functionalities of our phones. Here is an illustration from the Publichealthis blog showing:
Smartphones have become so important we cannot bear to live without it. CNN describes a concept called nomophobia. “Nomophobia” also known as “NO MObile PHOne phoBIA” is a 21st-century term for the fear of not being able to use your cell phone or other smart device. Cell phone addiction is on the rise, surveys show, and a new study released Thursday adds to a growing body of evidence that smart phone and internet addiction is harming our minds — literally.
Are there health problems associated with use of Smartphones?
The most common problem of smart phone addiction is the text neck. It is that cramping, stabbing pain that comes after looking down at your phone too long — and poor posture, which can affect your spine, respiratory functions and even emotions. Researchers have also found that the blue light emitted from our cell phones and other internet devices can disrupt melatonin production and therefore our sleep. While these are not so good, they can become pre-disposing factors to greater health problems. However, are there health benefits to using phones?
Thousands of smart phone applications intended to help people maintain and/or improve their health are available for free or for instant buy on mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems. Want to do some yoga on the go? There’s an app for that. Or how about trying to find the nearest farmer’s market? Yep, they have that, too. Worried that health bar isn’t good for your diet? Scan the bar code with your phone to learn the sugar content, calories, and healthy alternatives, while also tracking your weight loss. But do these apps really address pressing public health issues? Let’s take a closer look at arguably the most significant public health problem of the 21st Century – the obesity epidemic.
Smartphones. good or bad?
Smartphones to a very large extent make our lives beautiful. They can optimize our productivity at work and help us manage our health. However, if addicted to smart phones, mindfulness training is highly recommended. Limit phone usage by turning it off at certain times of the day, such as in meetings, having dinner, playing with your kids, and of course, driving. Remove social media apps, like Facebook and Twitter from your phone, and only check-in from your laptop. Try to wean yourself to 15 minute intervals at set times of the day when it won’t affect work or family life. Don’t bring your cell phone and it’s harmful blue light to bed; use an old-fashioned alarm to wake you. And last, try to replace your smart device time with healthier activities such as meditating or actually interacting with real people. Can a smartphone kill? (Don’t think of people who text while driving.) It won’t practically kill you but could reduce your quality of life in the long run.