The perpetual warnings, from media and grandparents alike, of the dangers posed by mobile phone use may only serve to irritate you, but have you ever stopped to consider that there may be some truth behind them?
Noticed that you can’t sleep as well as you used to? Feeling a strain in your neck and back? Phones are great, but staying healthy is greater. Here are five top tips to overcome phone damage to your body.
As in, don’t just go to bed, but actually sleep. Phones stop us sleeping not only because of the light they emit, but also because they’re a distraction. You don’t want to miss the banter on the group chat and that one friend who keeps tagging you in memes, but the hours can easily pass, making you tired and irritable the next day. Set a time to turn your phone off every night and stick to it. Not only will you sleep better, but also you’ll have more messages to wake up to in the morning!
Most of us would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t admit to back or neck pain at some point. Although this may be caused by a number of factors, constantly looking down at your phone isn’t helping. Neither is spending all day slouching over a desk at a laptop which, if you’re reading this article, you probably are. To minimise the effects of your devices on your spine, be super conscious of your deportment – shoulders, back and head up! Try not to use your phone for too long at a time, and raise your phone to face height rather than bending your neck to look down.
The golden rule for preserving your eyes. Looking at a screen for a long time causes us to blink less and tense those face and shoulder muscles more, giving us tired, dry eyes and vision problems. This rule is easy: every 20 minutes, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Do this and use your phone as little as possible to avoid a trip to the opticians.
TRY SOME STRETCHES
Officially labelled ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’, pain in your fingers or hand can be another side effect of phone use. If you feel your fingers tensing or your thumb tiring, switch hands and do some finger stretches. With your arm stretched out, bend your fingers and wrist back and forth and around in circles to relax your muscles. Alternatively, and more therapeutically, book a hand massage.
FRAZZLING YOUR BRAIN?
It’s easy to dismiss the warnings about the effects of radiowaves from your phone on your body – everything these days gives you cancer, right? But experts are still warning that our mobiles emit radiofrequency energy that could have harmful effects on our brain and skin. Try to use the landline for phone calls or, if that’s not possible, use a handsfree headset so your phone isn’t too close to your brain.
Words by Laura Bramall