714 - What has your mobile / smart phone got to do with Project Blue Beam, HAARP, Chemtrails...?
10 reasons your smartphone is bad for your health
MSN Family Health
Spend too long on your smartphone and you could risk bad sex, poor posture and reduced brain power - and that's just for starters. Here are 10 health reasons you should start leaving your phone in your pocket.
1. It can ruin your sex life
'Not now, darling - I'm checking Twitter!' Sound familiar? Forty per cent of us have delayed sex because we're too busy looking at our smartphones, according to new research from Durham University. What's more, a third of those interviewed admitted they'd actually rushed through sex - or even stopped it in its tracks - in order to respond to messages. Study leader Dr Mark McCormack comments: 'Technology has made its way into the bedroom in more ways than we'd imagined - often with benefits, but also coming with potentially serious costs to relationships. It can cause frustration and tension, and encroach on sexual activity.' Our tip? Switch your phone to silent in the bedroom
2. You could develop 'text neck'
That hunched-over posture you adopt while staring down at your phone can cause severe damage to your neck, according to research by US spine surgeon Dr Kenneth Hansraj. His findings? Although our heads weigh between 10lb and 12lb, the weight on our necks increases when we angle them downwards to look at our phones. At a 30° angle, for instance, the effective weight on the spine is 40lb. 'These stresses may lead to early wear, tear, degeneration and possibly surgeries,' he warns. 'While it's nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over.'
3. You'll jeopardise your friendships
You go on holiday to relax and get away from it all, right? And yet a third of us spend more time on social media than we do talking to our travel companions, according to a new survey by Topdeck Travel. But you don't just run the risk of upsetting the friends you're with: your social media habit could be annoying everyone back home, too. One in seven people feels jealous when viewing friends' holiday 'boastagraphs' on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, according to a study for British Airways. And a quarter of us feel upset, annoyed or confused if we don't get enough 'likes', 'favourites', comments or retweets on our uploads. So leave your phone in the hotel safe - and send a postcard instead.
4. You'll walk into things
Yes, we're stating the obvious here - but it's still worth saying, if the results of a recent US study are anything to go by. More than 1,500 Americans are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year due to injuries sustained while using a mobile phone while walking along the street, according to research published in the Accident Analysis and Prevention journal. And that number is rising all the time. Let's face it: we've all nearly walked into a bollard or tripped over a paving stone while trying to send a text, haven't we?
5. You can damage your eyes
Rates of myopia - otherwise known as short-sightedness - have soared due to smartphone use, say experts. In fact, there's been a 35 per cent increase since 1997, according to consultant eye surgeon David Allamby, founder of Focus Clinics. Coincidence? Not according to Mr Allamby, who believes young people in particular are risking their eyesight by spending an average two hours gazing at their phones each day. Research has also shown that the blue-violet light emitted by smartphones could have a toxic effect on the backs of the eyes, leading to macular degeneration and even blindness.
6. You're at risk of thumb injuries
Hurt your thumb? You're not alone. Two out of five Brits have experienced pain or discomfort in their thumbs, while more than half complained of 'thumb fatigue' after using smartphones, according to 2013 research by O2. The phone company's solution was to devise a series of thumb exercises to strengthen and soothe sore digits. But it's also advisable to give your thumb a rest by not checking your phone so often.
7. You won't get enough sleep
Use your smartphone before bedtime and chances are you won't enjoy a good night's sleep. One recent Norwegian study of 10,000 teenagers, for example, found that the longer people spent looking at an electronic screen before bedtime, the worst quality slumber they were likely to have. The reason? Experts believe that staring at an illuminated screen sends the wrong signals to our brains - making us awake and alert when we should be set for sleep. So step away from smartphones, computers and TVs at least an hour before you go to bed.
8. It could make you stupid
Using your phone instead of your brain to recall or deduce information could make you mentally lazy, say researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada. The study of 600 people found a significant correlation between less time spent on the phone and stronger cognitive skills and powers of analysis. The lesson? Use it or lose it. Next time you're trying to recall the name of a film or find your way to a restaurant, for example, try working it out for yourself before resorting to Google.
9. You could develop a 'nomophobia'
Picture the scene. You're in the middle of nowhere when you reach into your pocket and the horrible truth dawns: your phone has died and you have no way of charging it. How are you going to get through the day? What about all the social media updates you're likely to miss? What if something terrible happens and nobody can get hold of you? Arrrgh! In fact more than half of us admit to suffering from 'nomophobia' - an intense fear of being without a mobile phone, according to a 2013 OnePoll survey. The reality, though, is there are plenty more ways to feel connected with the world around us - and being 'switched off' for a while could actually give you precious time to relax and recharge. So next time you forget your phone, simply stop and smell the flowers!
10. You'll do less exercise
Spending more and more time on your phone means you spend less and less time on the move - unless you brazenly ignore our earlier advice not to walk and text at the same time, that is. Seriously, though, a study at Kent State University in the US has found a direct link between high phone usage and low levels of fitness. The theory? Fast downloads and social media offer an instant cure for boredom without prompting the need to get active.*******