In the present world, it is hard to imagine a day without using a cellphone unless you are on vacation in the midst of nowhere. The number of cell phone users is mounting each day round the world. According to Statista, by 2019 about 2.7 billion people are estimated to use Smartphone devices globally1. And, the statistics of mobile phone usage is predicted to cross 4.68 billion covering about 67 percentages of the global population in 20191.
The Global data of GSMA Intelligence reveals that the total figures of worldwide mobile users has already climbed the benchmark of five-billion2. In Bangladesh 158,438,000 mobile numbers were registered up to February 2019 - nearly 1 per head of the country’s population.
Certainly mobile phones – especially the Smartphones that rule the roost today – have undeniable benefits like instant communication with family and workplace, building networks, entertainment, camera, GPS, education, storing documents, privacy, diverse apps, etc. However, people are becoming addicted to the multi-dimensional applications of their Smartphones which is leaving diverse side-effects upon their health. Let’s see how your Smartphone is killing you silently.● Eye Strain
While typing and/or reading any text content, people often tend to stare at the tiny fonts on the small screen of the Smartphone, which is harmful for the eyes. If this practice is continued on a regular basis, it can lead towards blurred vision, dried eyes, eye strain, dizziness, etc.
It is recommended to keep the cell phone screen at a minimum 16-inch distance from the face to minimize the risk of eye-damage. Try to take a little break after every 20 minutes, and shift your sight from the mobile screen to a distant object. If possible, read the long messages or articles on a bigger screen of a laptop or desktop. Whenever you face any kind of eye strain, consult with a doctor in no delay.
●Risk of Brain Cancer
You may know that the mobile devices create electromagnetic fields and release radio frequencies. According to the studies of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, people who use mobile phones excessively run the risk of developing brain tumor or cancer cells – like Glioma and/or Acoustic Neuroma – due to the effect of micro wave radiation. To cut down the risk of brain tumor/cancer you should avoid continuous use of cell phones for long hours.
●Neck & Back Pain
In most of the cases, a Smartphone user tends to browse the internet or social media for consecutive hours drooping over its screen. The wrong postures can harm the muscles of neck and back areas substantially resulting long-lasting strains. To get rid of the risk of neck and back pain due to mobile use, watch your posture while using Smartphone. Learn the right postures to keep your spine strong and healthy.
The doctors recommend keeping the cell phone at your eye-level resting the cervical spine at a neutral position. Another thing to remember is not to float arms ahead of the body. It engages shoulder muscles instead of neck muscles. And, you need to rest the elbows upon a place like desk, knees, ribs or even hand.●Sleep Disorders
Sleep disturbance is another negative side effect of excessive cell phone use. People often engage in browsing social media while lying on the bed which delays their sleep. The beeping and vibrating noise tempt people to check the notifications, messages, and emails when they are supposed to fall asleep.
These ill practices hamper the sleep leading towards the risk of Insomnia, a sleeping disorder. Moreover, many people tend to keep the phone near the head during night hours after setting the alarm. As we have mentioned before that impact of microwave radiation released by the phone can harm the human brain, exposing the brain cells to the risk of cancer/tumor. In addition to these, regular sleep disturbance can lead towards dizziness, depression, mood swings, anxiety and many other physical and emotional problems.
Adequate sleep is one of the prime requirements for maintaining good physical and mental health. So you should stop surfing the web or watching videos/movies on your Smartphone after going to bed. And, don’t forget to keep the cell phone at a distant from the body parts, preferably away from the bed while sleeping.
Some studies show that keeping Smartphones in the pocket can also impair the male fertility5. The mobile phone radiation can shrink the semen volume, sperm count, sperm viability, and sperm concentration. However, no solid evidence is available is found between female fertility and mobile phone use. So, the males should be cautious against storing Smartphone in pockets all day long.
●Risk of Germs Attacks
The screen of a cell phone holds more germs than a toilet seat6. Study shows that the mobile phone screens bear harmful bacteria like E. coli, which can cause diarrhea, fever, infections, vomiting, etc. Especially, the babies tend to suck the Smartphone screen with the mouth area, which might expose them to germ attack leading towards diverse life-threating diseases. Therefore, you should keep the babies away from cell phones. And don’t forget to keep the mobile screen clean regularly.
Not to mention, the more people use their phones these days, they more they submit themselves to the profiteering schemes of corporations mining every bit of information they can get a hold of on us - nearly always, all of it through our phones - to target them with tailored messaging. It is also true that we can’t deny the various benefits of mobile phones in the current world. But we should not forget the fact that health is more precious than work, study, entertainment, or socializing. And, there is no alternative to sound sleep to maintaining a healthy body and mind. Therefore, it behooves us to minimize mobile phone use. Instead, we can get proper sleep and swap ‘screen time‘ for quality time with family and friends.