To communicate, but also for banking, shopping, listening to music, taking photos, or simply to play and entertain ourselves. It’s not rocket science that these devices have innumerable benefits, but along with these assets come all the drawbacks and hazards derived from mobile phone abuse. We need to set some limits!

Nomophobia, whatsappitisphubbing or vamping are some of the new terms coined to name behaviors, disorders and pathologies derived from the use of our mobile phones. The hyperconnectivity to which we are subjected does have consequences for our health.

Effects on our joints

The excessive use of our smartphones may cause joint and muscle disorders in different parts of our body: 

Carpal tunnel syndrome: the nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand is compressed as it passes through the wrist, causing tingling, pain and numbness.

Thumb tendinopathy: it’s also known as whatsappitis, and is caused by repeated movements with the thumb. Some studies even claim that it could change the way the hand is used, and it’s already been noticed that today’s children no longer use the hand gripper as much due to the use of touch screens in schools.

Cervical pain: pain in the upper part of the neck caused by the neck inclination to look at the tablet or phone instead of putting the screen at eye level.

Sleep disorders

Be careful at night. One of the new "epidemics" of the 21st century that mainly affects teenagers is called vamping and refers to the use of the smartphone until the very early morning hours. This affects rest by reducing sleep hours and quality, so we should not use our mobile phones for at least one hour before going to sleep. The bright light emitted by screens causes confusion in our brains, which, thinking that it’s daytime, may reduce the secretion of melatonin, which is the sleep hormone. It is a matter of fact that poor sleep has a negative impact on our physical health, mood and quality of life by damaging our immune system, causing stress and irritability, and worsening school performance.

Nor should we leave our cell phone on the bedside table while we sleep, as the waves it emits may affect our rest. If you use it as an alarm, replace it with an alarm clock.

Eyesight disorders

Our eyes are not the only victims of the mobile phone. Indeed, during the day, we spend too much time in front of this and other screens (computers at work, TV...). This unmeasured exposure has a damaging impact on our health, as it makes us notice redness, tearing, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches or even suffer from hypersensitivity to light.

If you work long hours in front of a screen, intentionally blink at a certain frequency and take breaks. You could follow the rule of 20, which is to let the eyes rest every 20 minutes by looking at a distance of 20 feet (6 meters) for 20 seconds.

Social and psychological drawbacks

If you feel anxiety and distress, mood swings or palpitations when you are out of range, run out of battery or forget your mobile phone, you suffer from nomophobia, which is the irrational fear of being without your phone. The addiction to smartphones may endanger our work by decreasing productivity and social life, among others. This is called phubbing, which is the act of ignoring those around you in a meeting with your family or friends for being on your phone. When we are not able to control the use we make of our smartphones, we endanger our psychological well-being and may develop anxiety, stress and even depression.

Sedentary lifestyle

It is obvious that the more time we spend in front of a screen, the less time we dedicate to physical exercise. Therefore, mobile phone abuse is directly linked to sedentarism and its consequences: weight gain, cholesterol increase, diabetes, cardiovascular risk, insomnia and apathy, among others.

Tips to avoid being hooked on your mobile phone

There are some tips to limit the dependence on screens and avoid the development of certain pathologies.

  • Some studies state that we turn on our phones 80- 120 times a day. If you want to reduce the temptation, disable notifications and keep only the essential ones.
  • Manage the time you are connected. Establish a maximum and disconnect when it is reached. Indeed, you can use your own phone to set this limit on the use of certain apps. You can also set a schedule for checking social media, fifteen minutes at the beginning of the day and another fifteen in the afternoon, and try to follow it.
  • When using your smartphone, keep the screen at eye level so that you do not need to incline your head.
  • Turn it off at night and leave it outside your bedroom.

Let’s look on the bright side!

The excessive use of technologies is the main reason for their damaging effects, as technology itself makes our daily lives easier and when applied to health and other areas of life, it has great benefits.

We can download multiple apps to help us and our health. Some apps monitor our physical activity and analyze the quality of our sleep; others help us follow a training program; others help us stop smoking; others help us check the nutritional quality of foods, etc. We must benefit from all these assets!

Do you know the Soria Natural app?

Soria Natural launches for you a natural health app, through which you can access a botanical guide with nearly 200 plants, their active principles and uses, and a vademecum of the most common pathologies. Our catalog of phytotherapy products, dietary supplements and organic food is also available on the app, as well as the sales point to purchase them.

Download it here!

Tags #tips #health