The smartphones and tablets have become central to most people’s lives – from texting friends to checking Facebook and Twitter or getting the latest news.

            However, recent studies have shown there are definite physical, mental and health drawbacks to the digital lifestyle.

            Disconnect and de-stress yourself, how read on…….

            People who are addicted to smartphones and other devices like tablets, laptops can actually have bad effect on the health and on eyes too.

            Recent survey involving 10,000 people in 3 countries showed that  youngsters under 25 years check their phones thirty-two times a day.

            When we look at a smartphone, the light  peaking out of that is blue violet light. Blue violet light is potentially hazardous and toxic to retina and macula. When the device is held closer than you normally look at objects then it strains the eyes and that can cause headaches too.

            Another  recent survey found that on an average, an adult spends nearly seven hours a day staring at a screen with nearly half feel anxious and irritated when away from their phones. 43% of under 25s experience genuine irritation and anxiety when they can’t check their phone through the day.

            Being hooked on your smartphone isn’t just an annoying habit, there are other real health risks to staying plugged in. Here are some of the physical and mental drawbacks to the digital lifestyle.

EYES

            Looking at small screen may cause squinting of eyes, eye strain, blurring of vision, headache and eye muscle strain. Reading on small screen will make people blink less which can cause dryness of eyes. People also tend to stiffen their necks and shoulder muscles as they read on small screen, because the mobiles are handheld and hardly moved.

OBESITY

            Studies have shown coordination between obesity and heavy use of computers. The more you use the computers or smartphones, the more weight you are likely to gain. The fat cells create an increase in inflammation throughout the body including the brain which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

HEART RATE

            Research shows that stress levels and the heart rate increases by frequent interruptions of emails or Facebook communication. When people are stressed, they’re in this context  very alert and in simulated state.

POSTURE

            Slouching, which people often do while checking their phones, creates back strain and poor posture. In next 20 years, today’s youngsters will have hunch-back with high incidence of neck pain, deformity and spondylitis.

HEARING LOSS /LOUD MUSIC FROM MOBILES

            When normal talking is about 40-60 decibels, headphones can risk your eardrum at 110 decibels. It is recommended  that headphones should never be so loud that another person can hear the music too.

GIDDINESS AND LOSS OF BALANCE

            The latest ‘superfast’ high speed operating systems can affect a person’s balance. Rapid change of images and zooming in and zooming out too frequently can trigger dizzy spells. The clinical balance can be affected when there are several sensory inputs from eyes, ears and muscles.

MEMORY

            We have created an external hard drive in these devices that serves as an extension of our biological memory. We save almost everything in these devices and do not make attempt to use of brain to memories, thus affecting our brain capacity to remember important numbers etc.

            The use of electronic devices can weaken our brain circuits. Using internet we jump from one page to another in seconds. We have a less focused and more staccato style of thinking, its less organized and less efficient, contrary to what we think and this leads to ‘brain fog’ or mental confusion. This can lead to shrinkage of the frontal lobe circuits.

            Psychologists describe those who hyperventilate after discovering they are missing their mobiles as having ‘nomophobia’ (the fear of having no mobile).             However, the smartphone and similar devices are not entirely harmful to our health if used in moderation. Smartphones help to increase the brain neural connections.

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