How many times you wanted to check your phone for 10 minutes but it magically became 30 minutes or even more?
Once you hold your favorite electronic device and start scrolling, tapping and swiping… it becomes impossibly hard to step away. It’s shocking when you realize that this behavior has become the norm nowadays.
According to a study from the University of Maryland, most participating students were distressed when they spent one day without their devices. Plus, 1 in 3 students admitted they’d choose their smartphones over engaging in an intimate relationship!
No matter how much you love your electronic device, you must never use it to the point it becomes dangerous for your health. Here are 10 tech habits that are hurting you and, in some cases, can cause serious health problems.
#1 – Sleeping with your smartphone
Stop putting your phone beneath the pillow! Cell phone users are recommended to minimize their exposure to the radio frequency energy produced by phones. In fact, long-term, excessive use of smartphones might be associated with some types of cancer as well as other serious health problems.
Even though extended research is needed, it’s best to keep your phone away by using Bluetooth headsets and carrying your phone in a purse/backpack. In case you need to keep your cellphone beside you for some reason, make sure to turn airplane mode on.
#2 – Using a dirty cellphone
Your smartphone gets filthy faster than you may think. Basically, you don’t stop touching it and placing it on different dirty surfaces throughout the day, which leads all types of particles to deposit on the device, filling it with germs you certainly don’t want to touch.
So you shouldn’t be surprised if you started noticing patterns of acne or blackheads on your cheeks due to answering calls. Every time you press the phone to answer a call, you also press dirt and oils against your face, increasing the risk of getting acne.
To avoid damaging your skin, use earphones or put calls on speaker and make sure to wipe down your phone every day.
#3 – Social Media Overload
The small cell phone is an immense gate leading into the wide, free virtual social world. That’s why most teens today spend hours on social media talking to friends, sharing photos, expressing themselves, and seeking romance. But the wide web isn’t all smiles and rainbows.
There’s online aggression, hate speech, cyberbullying, and increasing worries about excessive social media use being associated with depression.
Social media can offer a fun break from daily routine but overuse is a sign that the person has other basic needs that aren’t being met. Parents should set a good example and try to talk and listen to their kids instead of lecturing them.
#4 – Turbo Texting
People who spend too much time holding their electronic devices are sharing a variety of health complaints, mainly pain in hand, elbow, claw, and neck. And the pain is very real. Physical therapists explain that such issues are a result of continuous strain injuries, which are caused by remaining in one position for a long period of time.
Your best bet is to reduce time spent on smartphones or other devices, and if that’s not possible, try hand stretches and exercises to help relieve the pain. Also, make sure to change positions as often as possible. Never stay in one position for too long.
#5 – Texting while walking
That text can actually wait until you cross the street safely! In fact, the National Safety Council states that more people are getting injured while being distracted from walking and more pedestrians are sent to the grave in traffic every year.
According to a report from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, about 4 out of 10 Americans say they have seen a distracted walking incident, and 26% admit being in an incident themselves.
The only way to avoid injuries, accidents, and death is obvious; Do not text while walking! Any call or message can wait till you get to your destination!
#6 – Bingeing before bed
We all know how good binges can feel satisfying. Sadly, even great binges can lead to nightmares and insomnia. According to some studies, individuals who binge suffer from more sleep-related problems than those who watch regular TV.
What makes the difference is that binge shows trigger “cognitive arousal,” says Jan Van den Bulck, Ph.D., professor of communication studies, explaining that this is a feeling of attentiveness from getting too captivated by a story that we end up feeling emotionally displaced when it ends and thus we crave more.
Although it’s not terrible, the problem with bingeing is when you’re unable to stop and find it very difficult to fall asleep afterward. For better sleeping patterns, limit your viewing or watch on off days only.
#7 – Continuous working or watching
We all know by heart that being sedentary can lead to various health issues, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Therefore, it’s crucial for people who spend the day sitting at a computer or/and dive into Netflix series at night to get up and move.
As much as we love technology, it’s actually vital to take breaks. For better health (both physical and mental), it’s recommended to take a short break every 20 minutes and try to go for a 10-minute walk every day.
#8 – Super-Scrolling
Have you experienced a headache, dizziness, or queasiness after looking at your screen? This is called ‘cybersickness’ and can affect up to 80% of people (even those who aren’t prone to motion sickness.) This phenomenon is similar to the feeling that some people experience when riding in vehicles or trying to read fast moving subtitles.
According to the president of the American Optometric Association, Christopher J. Quinn, cybersickness happens when the brain is trying to handle mismatched sensory input, meaning that your eyes perceive motion while your head is motionless. People typically experience this when scrolling through social feeds. So it’s time slow down.
#9 – Googling Your Symptoms
Do you spend plenty of time online searching symptoms that it interferes with work or relationships? Although only a few of us would actually reach that level, according to one study, online self-diagnosis can result in higher anxiety levels.
Diagnosing yourself with cancer after Googling your symptoms can make you stress about it for days. If this ever happened to you, you should stop at the first terrifying diagnosis and then, if symptoms are intense or persistent, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
#10 – Warming up to your laptop
Although laptops were designed to be placed on your lap, men, in particular, should keep them away from their groin area unless they don’t hope to reproduce naturally. According to research, keeping a computer that’s wirelessly connected to the Internet on your lap might lead to lower fertility in men.
There’s also a different research about using hot tubs and saunas that associates so much heat near the genitals with decreased amounts of vital sperm. Guys! Better get a desktop if you’re planning to start a family.
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