Today, many people spend a significant amount of time using their smartphones. People are dependent on the information available on their smartphones, and they also spend time connecting with family and friends via text and social media. Many people cannot resist the temptation to check their phones every few minutes.
Using a smartphone improperly can cause significant health impacts. Excessive smartphone use causes sleep disturbances, muscle strain, eye problems, and repetitive stress injuries. Here are four practical tips on how to use your smartphone without causing health problems.
Reduce Blue Light
Blue light such as that from electronic devices causes the brain to stay in an awake pattern. Blue light also causes eye strain and at its worst, eye damage. Holding the phone close to your face exacerbates this problem. Ideally, you should put your phone and all other blue light-emitting devices away one hour before bedtime. If you cannot do this, use the blue light reducing function on your smartphone. This will help, but putting your phone away would be better.
Use Your Phone Ergonomically
Just as you set up your work space to be ergonomically correct, you need to pay attention to the posture in which you are using your smartphone. Too many people hunch over their phones, causing shoulder, neck, and back strain. Ideally, bring the phone up to eye level when using it. When you are sitting down, instead of holding the phone up to your face, lean forward and put your elbows on your knees.
Protect Your Eyes
Take frequent breaks from using your smartphone. Any extended period of close-up reading can strain your eyes, and the glare from a smartphone screen is especially damaging. If you wear eyeglasses, be sure to get an anti-glare coating.
Prevent Repetitive Stress Injuries
Problems such as carpal tunnel can stem from improper use of a smartphone. Hunching over the phone while typing with one or two fingers may seem harmless, but you may find that you experience problems down the road. Do your best to frequently change positions while using your phone, and avoid holding it at an awkward angle.
While most people rely on their smartphones as a source of news, information, and entertainment, it is wise to limit the time spent on these devices. If you can’t limit your exposure, be sure to use the phone ergonomically and limit your exposure to blue light. Take good care of your health while using a smartphone, and you should not run into any medical problems in the years to come.
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