The Perils of Smartphones
We spend 5 hours a day on our mobile phones, I will touch on 4 ways they could be harming your health, and offer some simple remedies. Remember, No texting while driving!
A whopping 90 percent of us text with our necks bent, which strains muscles, tendons and ligaments. Flexing the neck forward at a 60-degree angle also puts 60 pounds of weight on the spine, leading to degeneration and arthritis. The fix: Stand upright and keep your phone 12 to 14 inches from your face. Apps such as Heads-up and Text Neck Indicator alert you when you’re doing this wrong.
Sending hundreds of texts a day? All that digit bending can cause inflammation in your fingers, leading to tendinitis or arthritis. And watch out for “trigger finger,” a condition that causes fingers to get stuck in a bent position. (You may need surgery to fix it.) The fix: Use voice-to-text, and take breaks when you’re typing on your phone. Try to send most of your emails from your computer keyboard. If you feel discomfort, stop and rest your hands, then gently stretch your thumbs and other fingers.
Some 65 percent of Americans suffer from digital eyestrain; a condition characterized by dry, itchy eyes and blurred vision. Also, the blue light emitted by your phone may damage your retinas, leading to macular degeneration. The fix: Ask your doctor about antireflective lenses, or try blue-light-blocking glasses from Gunnar ($69–$299) or Swannies ($89). Plus, try to blink frequently — at least 18 times a minute
It’s tough enough to focus these days, but a smartphone can make this worse: It can take up to 27 seconds after disconnecting from a hands-free device to regain attention. The fix: Turn off notifications, and check texts and emails only at particular times (and never while driving); iPhone users can put their phones on Do Not Disturb, yet allow family or work calls to get through.