5 Reasons Why Cellphones Are Bad For Your Health

26 Feb 2016    07:18 pm

Ninety-one percent of American adults and 60 percent of teens own this device that has revolutionized communication in the 21st century — the cellphone. Whether you own an Android, an iPhone, a Blackberry, or a basic flip phone, chances are you check your phone for messages, alerts, or calls even when your mobile device isn't ringing or vibrating, reports a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey.

Negatively Affects Emotions

The presence of a cell phone while two or more people are talking face-to-face can generate negative feelings toward the person who has his or her device visible. In two studies conducted at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom, researchers studied the effects of a mobile device during a nose-to-nose conversation. In the first study, 37 pairs of strangers were asked to spend 10 minutes talking to each other about an interesting event that happened in their lives within the past month. Half of the participants were seated in a secluded area with a mobile device present on a desk nearby whereas the other half remained without a cellphone. The results of the study showed that those who had a mobile device nearby were perceived less positive by the stranger, compared to the other participants without a cell phone present.

Increases Stress Levels

The high frequency of cell phone use can have negative effects on our stress levels. The constant ringing, vibrating alerts, and reminders can put a cell phone user on edge. In a study conducted at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, researchers examined if there is a direct link between the psychosocial aspects of cell phone use and mental health symptoms in young adults. The participants of the study included 20 to 24 year olds who responded to a questionnaire, in addition to a one-year follow-up. Researchers found high mobile phone use was associated with stress and sleep disturbances for women, whereas high mobile phone use was associated with sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression in men. Overall, excessive cell phone use can be a risk factor for mental health issues in young adults.

Increases Risk Of Illnesses In Your Immune System

The incessant touching of your phone can harbor germs on your handset. The greasy, oily residue you may see on your cellphone after a day's use can contain more disease-prone germs than those found on a toilet seat. In a study conducted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, researchers sampled 390 cell phones and hands to measure for levels of bacteria. The results of the study showed that 92 percent of the cell phones sampled had bacteria on them — 82 percent of hands had bacteria — and 16 percent of cell phones and hands had E. Coli. Fecal matter can easily be transferred by cell phones from one person to another.

Increases Risk Of Chronic Pain

Cell phones require constant use of your hands, especially when sending text messages and e-mails. Responding to messages at rapid speed can cause pain and inflammation of your joints. Back pain is also common with increased cell phone use, especially if you hold the phone between your neck and shoulders as you multitask. "Long periods of cell phone use cause you to arch your neck and hold your body in a strange posture. This can lead to back pain," says Healthcentral.com.

Increases Risk Of Eye Vision Problems

Staring at your mobile device can cause problems in your vision later in life. Screens on mobile devices tend to be smaller than computer screens, which means you are more likely to squint and strain your eyes while reading messages. According to The Vision Council, more than 70 percent of Americans don't know or are in denial that they are susceptible to digital eye strain.