8 Dangerous Ways In Which Technology Is Harming You Right Now
Funny as it may sound, 40% of surveyed Americans chose to give up their toothbrush over smartphone for a week.
True, technology has occupied a profound place in all aspects of our life – workplace, home, relationships, but sadly, so have its harmful effects on our health.
A series of physical and mental disorders, today, exist solely due to overuse of technology.
But luckily, it doesn’t take much to spare few minutes and a thought to what damage that smartphone in your hand is doing to your health and be cautious on how to avoid it:
1. Text Claws
Too much texting on the phone or maneuvering your mouse leads to inflammation in tendons of the thumb and fingers.
The American Society of Hand Therapists even issued a consumer alert to heavy users of electronic gadgets and recommended taking frequent breaks in between regular texting and scrolling.
Fix It: Using a hot towel on the inflamed thumb can help ease pain and swelling as would stretching the hand backwards.
2. Back Pain
According to a Journal, Surgical Technology International, when you tilt your head 60 degrees to look at your phone, you put 60 pounds of pressure on your neck.
This coupled with spending 6-8 hours on your desk in front of the computer causes your back to become stiff.
Fix It: Putting your screen at eye level, taking breaks every 30-60 minutes and light stretching exercises help a lot.
3. Damage to Ears
A research conducted in Australia revealed that nearly 70 percent people using iPods and MP3 players suffer from tinnitus – ringing in their ears.
What’s even shocking is the fact that 60% of the regular listeners listen to music beyond the safety volumes.
Fix It: Follow the 60:60 golden rule – listen to music at not more than 60% of the maximum volume, not more than 60 minutes a day.
Glueing to your devices late in the evening messes up with the internal body clock as it suppresses the release of the hormone melatonin that induces sleep and is also a cancer inhibitor.
As the mental activity increases the brain cells start to race, exactly opposite of what must happen before sleep.
Fix It: Take a break from screens before bedtime and don’t indulge in games and music as it heightens the brain activity.
5. Poor Vision
Computer vision syndrome is a common phenomenon that causes eyes strain, redness in the eye, blurred/double vision.
Nearly 70% of Americans suffer from it, as per USA Today. Also, the blue light from the phone in the dark has been linked with cataract and retina damage.
Fix It: Position your screen 20-25 inches away from the eyes and follow the 20:20 rule – every 20 minutes look at objects 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
6. Lower Self-esteem and Loneliness
Research suggests that Facebook leads to self-destructive behavior and negative comparisons that often result in loneliness and lower self-esteem.
The theory is known as FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out when your friends are partying and you have commitments at work.
Fix It: Constructive use of social media and understanding that there’s life beyond the digital social life can help in stopping it from becoming a menace.
7. Harmful Germs on Screen
A study in the UK revealed shocking amounts of bacterial presence on mobile screens that get deposited on the face of a user while talking on a phone.
It triggers infections resulting in acne and eczema. Moreover, usage of a phone while eating makes the bacteria enter the body and can even cause food poisoning.
Fix It: Sterilize your gadgets as often as possible and go hands-free.
8. ‘Digital Dementia’- Loss of Memory
Multi-tasking between emails, phone calls, texting and music changes the wiring of our brain. It breaks down our cognitive skills, and cerebral changes can lead to short term memory dysfunction.
Fix It: Consider scratching your head for retrieving information rather than looking up Google. Avoid multi-tasking, go offline and take deep breaths as often as possible.
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