Effects of Too Much Mobile Phone Use in Your Health

2:59:00 AM

I am reading "Present!: The Secret of Being in the Here and Now", new book of Tita Grace Chong published by OMF Literature. I am enjoying reading the book because I can relate to Andy, the millenial character being discussed by Tita Grace in the book. Since I am a medical student, the health effects of too much cellphone use discussed in Chapter 4 captured my attention. This is why I made my own research regarding the bad effects of mobile phone to human health. I also tried to include several tips to prevent these bad effects. It is also timely because a lot of people are addicted to mobile phone use. Blogging about this topic is a nice way to inform people of the risks brought by chronic use of mobile phone. Although mobiles have a lot of benefits especially in communication, we have to know that everything in excess can be harmful. Use technology responsibly and in moderation. It is a wonderful servant but it can be a terrible master.

Here is the front cover of the book "Present!". It was published by OMF Literature. You can get it at an affordable price. You will definitely enjoy this book and you will learn a lot from it.

Effects of Too Much Mobile Phone Use in Your Health

1. Accidents
It has long been demonstrated that cellphone use results to distraction on a person's ability to assess information from complex visual task such as driving. Talking on a cell phone while driving was shown to constrict the peripheral awareness of a person. This means that certain things normally observed might not be seen while having a cellphone conversation. The driver tend to be less aware of the surrounding and become more prone to accident [1].

Prevention Tips: Do not use cell phone while driving. If you need to answer an emergency phone call, you can always stop your car on the sidewalk.

2. Cellphone Elbow
Cellphone elbow or cubital tunnel syndrome is the second most common nerve compression syndrome in the upper extremities. This happens especially with people using their cell phones with their elbow bent. This bending of the elbow for a long time can result to compression of the ulnar nerve. This will cause symptoms such as aching, burning, numbness or tingling sensation in the forearm and hang. People with cellphone elbow also experience weakness in their hands and difficulty in opening a jar or playing instruments [2].

Prevention Tips: You can frequently switch the cell phone between hands during a phone conversation. Using a hands-free headset can also prevent the cellphone elbow.

3. Finger Deformity
Text Claw - It is sometimes called tendonitis and caused by constant use of smartphones. It can cause wrist pain, aching, numbness  and loss of strength in the hands.overuse of phones [3].
Blackberry Thumb - It is medically known as de Quervain's syndrome. This results to tenderness or soreness in the area near the joint at the base of the thumb. The pain can radiate to the forearm. Other symptoms are difficulty in grasping, pinching and holding an object [4].
Smartphone Finger - This results from resting the heavy weight of a smartphone on the little finger. This can cause temporary pain or indentation of the finger [5]

Prevention Tips: To prevent finger deformities, hold your phone differently and take a break in resting your phone on a single finger. You can also stretch you thumb, wrist, fingers and arms.

4. Neck and Back Pain
When using a smart phone, you tend to look down and drop your head forward. This can change the natural curvature of your neck. Chronic use of smartphone can result to misalignments of the neck, disc herniations and pinched nerves. This can result to strain in neck muscles [6,7].

Prevention Tips: Straighten up and learn proper posture. Arch back to stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. You can raise your device to eye level to avoid strain in the neck.

5. Headaches
Several epidemiological studies suggested that mobile phoneuse may be related to occurence of headaches. This is attributed to exposure to radiation from mobile phones [8]. But you have to take note that these are all association studies and causation cannot be concluded. Recent scientific studies in humans and animals had failed to provide causal relationship between radiofrequency exposure and headaches [9]

6. Nomophobia
Nomophobia is defined as “the fear of being out of mobile phone contact”. The idea of losing mobile phone causes high levels of stress and anxiety to people with nomophobia. The word nomophobia is an abbreviation of the phrase "no-mobile-phone phobia". The number of college students taking shower with their cellphones is incrasing. An average adolescent would rather lose a pinky finger than a cell phone [10].

Prevention Tips: You can try to refrain from using your phone at least once a month. Place your phone in a place 15 feet away from you before sleeping to make sure you do not spend too much time using it. Invest more time in face-to-face conversation.

[1] Maples WC, DeRosier W, Hoenes R, Bendure R, Moore S. 2008. The effects of cell phone use on peripheral vision. Journal of the American Optometric Association. 79(1): 36–42
[2] Jacobson J. 2009. NewsCAPS: Cubital tunnel syndrome (or cell phone elbow) ranks second after carpal tunnel syndrome. American Journal of Nursing. 109(9): 20
[3] http://www.medicaldaily.com/what-text-claw-and-why-its-not-same-carpal-tunnel-syndrome-yet-273564
[4] https://www.prevent-rsi.com/rsi/names/dequervains-blackberry-thumb
[5] http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/431119/Smartphone-Pinky-injury-iPhone-BlackBerry-Android
[6] http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/03/text-neck-is-smartphone-use-causing-your-neck-pain/
[7] http://edition.cnn.com/2012/09/20/health/mobile-society-neck-pain/
[8] Chu MK, Song HG, Kim C and Lee BC. 2011. Clinical features of headache associated with mobile phone use: a cross-sectional study in university students. BMC Neurology. 11:115
[9] http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/electromagnetic-fields/l-3/4-phones-headaches-health.htm
[10] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/artificial-maturity/201409/nomophobia-rising-trend-in-students

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  1. These additional tips are really helpful! Thank you so much for taking the time to read the book and for researching further on the ill effects of excessive usage of electronic gadgets. Hope to meet you soon so we can chat about these and maybe write a sequel together? :)

    1. Thank you so much Tita Grace. Actually we already met during the NCBD Book Fair 2015 in Rizal Library, Ateneo. I was there during the book launch of Coming Home. You also signed my copy of your chldren's story books. Wow. It's an honor that you've visited my blog and read this post. It will be an even greater honor to write a book with you. Thank you so much Tita Grace.

  2. Thanks for sharing the information regarding mobile phones. It was really excellent.
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    1. Means a lot. Thank you for reading my blog. All the best!

  3. Thanks for sharing this informative posts... Keep posting more like this...

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