With the advent of advanced technology, there is a continuous growth in the number of mobile users. In India, more than 50 crore people are using smartphones. In 2020, the number of global smartphone users is projected to total 3.5 billion, which is approximately 9.3 percent increase from 2019.
In this digital era, need smartphones at work, for learning and also to maintain a social life. However, too much of anything, they say, is not good. Say. For example, too many chocolates can expedite diabetes, or too much salt can lead to blood pressure issues. Similarly, too much use of cell phones also causes a range of health problems. In this blog, we highlight some damaging health effects caused by excessive use of smartphones:
The excessive use of smartphones can cause back problems. These days even young people experience back pain issues, many due to excessive smartphone use. Based on a study, approximately 45 % of young people between the age of 16 and 25 years face musculoskeletal problems. Moreover, excessive use of smartphones can also cause “text claw,” a typical pain in the muscle of fingers and wrists.
A recent study revealed that the overuse of smartphones develops “occipital neuralgia.” In this neurological condition, nerves that link your head and spine are either inflamed or compressed.
If you tend to spend hours on smartphones, of course, you also miss on your physical activities or exercises. Over a period, this leads to more inactivity and can add to your weight gain. As smartphones are becoming a vital part of work life and the preferred source of entertainment, it is changing the way we live. According to a study, a person who uses smartphones for more than five hours a day is at risk of obesity and heart diseases. Weight gain by itself can cause a range of muscle and bone issues, a common one being knee pain. Your knees hold your weight, hence any additional weight you carry around will affect the knees.
Normally, we blink 15 times per minute, but this decreases when we stare at our smartphones more often. As we spend more time on these small screens, our facial and shoulder muscles tighten, eyes get tired, and vision can be blurred. Excessive use of smartphones can also lead to retinal damage or muscular degeneration in the eye.
According to the latest study, three- fourths of the world’s population sleep either holding their smartphones, or having it next to them near the pillow or on their nightstand. In another study, researchers found that around 40 percent of teenagers sleep less than 7 hours a night. Smartphones emit blue light, which is a type of light that our brain interprets as daylight. This light suppresses melatonin (hormone that affects circadian rhythm and helps in sleeping), thus leading to sleep deprivation and irregular sleep cycles.
Apart from the above-mentioned issues, there are many other health problems related to excessive use of smartphones. It can cause stress and depression, poor concentration in work, violent behavior, decreased social interaction, etc. We need to limit the use of smartphones. People who work on desks or spend more time sitting should raise their screens to eye height. While working, try to take frequent breaks to get up and keep your body correctly aligned. Just a few daily adjustments can go toward improving pain, postural, and other health issues.
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