The impact of smartphones and mobile devices on human health and life goes both ways. This means that some of its effects are good and some are bad. As someone who uses their smartphone on a daily basis, it is only right that you pay attention to what your favorite gadget can do to your health. This way, you will be able to use it smartly and safely too.
There are plenty of articles referring to the negative effects of using this handheld device on a regular basis. This is understandable as these adverse effects are quite noticeable already. Those who are addicted to their smartphones barely interact with people or are prone to fits of anger when they are interrupted with their games and such. Fortunately, this technology does come with a good side, especially when pertaining to our health.
What are the Positive Effects of Smartphones on Health?
Smartphones can save your life! (Photo credit: sciencefriday.com)
Like it was mentioned before, using your smartphone the right way can come with plenty of benefits, especially to your health. What are these effects, you ask? Here are a few to keep in mind.
- Health conscious. One of the positive effects of smartphones on our health is that they help us become more health conscious. This is because there are plenty of downloadable fitness programs that are designed for beginners all the way to the pros. These fitness apps are also equipped with features such as being able to read heart rate, number of steps taken, the distance you have jogged or walked, and even your sleep pattern too just to name a few. A good number of people are using their smartphone, together with other fitness wearables, to stay fit.
- Activates sensorimotor cortex. Studies show that the way our fingers tap on to our smartphones help activate the sensorimotor cortex that helps keep our brain healthy. It helps with our motor skills too.Scientists have seen a positive reaction between the brain and the use of technology.
- Helps you relax. Another positive effect of using a smartphone is that it does help you find a way to calm yourself. This is by listening to meditative music wherever you may be. If you are having a rough day, you can keep yourself calm and cool while traveling home by listening to calming music.
- Improve diet. Thanks to the constant access to the Internet, smartphone users are using this tech to improve their diet. Apps like Instagram and Pinterest are among the top sources of food ideas that health conscious individuals are trying out. If you are planning on living healthy, your smartphone can open a whole new world of gastronomy that you can try out in your kitchen.
- Predict health issues. It is possible that our smartphones can now predict possible issues on our health through artificial intelligence. This may be an advantage especially when detecting mental problems by reviewing a person’s social media posting. Although this tech is relatively new, it may help people gain insight on their mental state because of this.
How about the Negative Effects?
When there is good, there is also bad, and using smartphones does come with negative effects too. Aside from those that were mentioned above, there are negative effects of using our mobile devices constantly such as:
- Neck pain. One of the negative effects of using your device constantly is having neck pain. This is because you tend to bend your head too much looking at the screen of your phone. If you are experiencing that crick at the back of your neck then it is probably caused by your smartphone use. This is also referred to as tech neck and it is quite common in serial mobile phone users.
- Poor attention span. Most of us perform multiple tasks using our gadgets thinking that we are ahead of the game. However, this habit of ours is actually affecting our attention span. Moving from one task to the next then going back to your previous task is not only affecting your attention span, but it is also wasting your time since you aren’t completing anything with this process. As much as possible stick to finishing one task before moving on the next.
- Lack of empathy. Children who are exposed to smartphones early on do not develop any empathy which can affect their inter and intra-personal relationships. This is because they do not have any real life contact with others because their interaction is limited to their smartphone. The more we rely on our smartphones for communication or for building online relationships, the less we become in touch with other people which can affect our mental and emotional state.
- Living distractedly. Smartphones are all well and good, but they can be a source of distraction at home and outdoors. Take for example, texting while walking or using your device while driving. There have been countless accidents caused by texting while driving or not paying attention while walking because you are glued to your smartphone.
- Poor memory. Another negative effect of using your mobile device to your health is that your memory may be affected too. A good number of mobile phone users admit that they are using their device as a memory keeper. Unfortunately, this means that your brain is not functioning as it should.
How to Use Smartphone the Right Way
Get the most usage out of smartphones (Photo credit: RTE)
Now that you know the positive and negative effects of using your smartphone, learning how to use it the right way can help you get the most out of this compact device. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started.
- Be conscious of your posture. One of the things that you need to learn when using your handheld device is the right posture. Instead of tilting your head forward too much because you want to view the screen, bring the phone to your eye level. This way, you will avoid neck pain in the long run. Also, it is best that you change your position every few minutes to keep your body moving and to prevent that neck pain that has been bugging you because of your constant use of your gadget.
- Rest your eyes. What is the effect of mobile screen on eyes? It can make them appear dry and irritated because of the glare coming from your device. Either give your eyes time to rest or turn down the brightness of your smartphone. You can reduce the brightness of your phone especially at night to help lessen the strain on your eyes.
- Minimize exposure to blue light. Both the sun as well as mobile phones are known to produce blue light. This particular energy makes us wide awake which is great during the day. However, when you are using your smartphone at night, and while you are in bed, it can interrupt your body’s natural sleep state. If you have noticed that your sleep pattern is disrupted because of your smartphone use, wean yourself from it or turn your device off at least half an hour before you call it a night.
- Take breaks. It’s not just kids who can spend hours glued to their phones these days. Even adults are hooked to their mobile gadgets for hours on end. Unfortunately, constant exposure to the bright light coming from the display can have a negative effect on your eyesight. That said, it is best that you take a break from using your gadget every twenty minutes or so to give your eyes time to rest.
- Mute notifications. Another way to use your device correctly is to turn off its notifications. This way, it will help you concentrate better on the task at hand rather than be distracted by the constant pinging of your phone whenever there is an update.
- Invest in a case with anti-radiation features. Our smartphones emit radiation that can be dangerous to your health in the long run. The best way to avoid this is by getting a case that contains anti-radiation features.
- Switch to night time mode. If your sleep is constantly interrupted because of the blue light in your phone’s screen, then switching it to night mode may help create a warmer tone on your display. This way, even when you are using your device, the warm hue of your smartphone can make you sleepy.
- Wipe with antimicrobial wipes for gadgets. Our smartphones can be a hotbed for germs that can lead to illnesses. The best way to minimize your exposure to them is to wipe down your gadget on a regular basis. You can use a microfiber cloth for this or look for wipes designed specifically for gadgets to remove most of the germs that are present there.
Understanding the impact of smartphones and mobile devices on human health and life should be our responsibility. These gadgets do make our lives more convenient, but they also come with drawbacks too. Knowing the pros and cons of using smartphones is key to preventing these gadgets from ruining our health.
Also, we need to pay attention to environmental health. Refurbished smartphones help in reducing e-waste which is also beneficial for human health.