Is Your Cell Phone Bad For Your Health?
Do you remember the years before you had your cell phone? All those face-to-face conversations with people that you wish you could have avoided, having to find a computer with an internet connection to check emails, and the general slower pace of absolutely everything? Looking back at these times makes you realize how much your phone has changed your life.
But what is the price of this convenience to our health and wellbeing? Lets take a look at the facts. These are the ugly effects your cell phone has on your health:
Your cell phone may allow you to connect with your friends, family and colleges with the tap of a finger but it comes with a hefty price on your self-confidence. From Facebook and Instagram pictures of your friends doing cooler stuff than you to not getting a response from a message that your friend has obviously read, this added connection can blind you from enjoying your present moment surroundings. Sometimes it feels like what you are doing with your life is not good enough, the people you are with aren’t as cool and you feel like a big loser. #NotFun
Several epidemiological studies have found an association between cell phone use and male fertility. These studies show that men who use their cell phone more frequently had lower sperm count, motility, and had more abnormally structured sperm. So if you are gearing up to have some kids, your cell phone may have to take the backseat.
If there are two ways cell phones screw up a good night sleep: using your phone before bed or sleeping next to your phone. This is because the bright light from your screen tricks your body into believing that it is daytime by interfering with your body’s internal clock, according to Dr Charles Czeisler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard University. Even short bursts of light like a message alert have an effect on your sleep. This is why sleep experts advise us to avoid using our phones within the two hours before bed as well as avoid sleeping next to our phones.
Potentially Cancer Causing
Although cell phone radiation is not powerful enough to damage DNA directly, it can indirectly cause cancer. The WHO has classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” primarily based on a couple of observational studies that found associations between cell phone use and brain cancer. This association is strongest in those who start using cell phones before the age of twenty, as children absorb more cell phone radiation than adults do.
Now I am not saying that you have to avoid your phone to avoid these consequences but here are a few tips to help you stay connected without destroying your health:
- When using your phone, use a headset/earphones or put your phone on speaker
- Avoid storing your phone in your pocket or close to your waist (especially if you are pregnant)
- If you aren't expecting a call, leave your phone in your bag, in another room or turn it off
- Text rather than talk
At this stage, we are all apart of a global, uncontrolled experiment to determine the long-term health consequences of cell phone use. My recommendation for you is to stop being a guinea pig and take charge of your health by implementing the discussed tips into your life.