by Cheryl Sklar
Most of us spend more than 5 hours a day on our mobile phones. Did you know this could be harmful to your health? Here’s how. . . along with suggestions on how to avoid these issues.
When you bend your neck to look at your phone, it strains muscles, tendons and ligaments. Tilting your neck forward at a 60-degree angle can put 60 pounds of weight on your spine, potentially leading to degeneration and arthritis.
Stand upright, pay attention to your posture and keep your phone 12 to 14 inches from your face. Apps such as HeadUp – Protect Your Neck, Text Neck Indicator and Watch Your Neck can alert you when you’re not holding a healthy position.
All the digit bending you do when you text hundreds of times a day can cause inflammation in your fingers. This could lead to tendinitis or arthritis. “Trigger Finger” is a condition that causes fingers to get stuck in a bent position, sometimes requiring surgery to fix.
Use voice-to-text when you can. Take breaks when you’re typing a lot on your phone. Try to send most of your emails from your computer, instead of your phone. If you start to feel discomfort, stop and rest your hands. Then gently stretch your thumbs and other fingers or try some thumb exercises and treatments.
About 65% of Americans suffer from digital eyestrain. This is characterized by dry, itchy eyes and blurred vision. Also, the blue light emitted by your phone can damage your retina, leading to macular degeneration.
Ask your doctor about anti-reflective lenses or try blue-light-blocking glasses. See my last Tuesday Tip, Helpful iPhone Tips, for an easy way to adjust your phone display brightness for Nighttime viewing.
People have such a hard time focusing these days and a smartphone can make it worse. It can take up to 27 seconds after disconnecting from a hands-free device to regain attention.
Turn off notifications and check emails and texts only at particular times (and never while driving!). Find ways to be fully present when you are with people; give them your full attention and don’t check your phone all the time while you’re engaged with actual humans. Do you really need to view work emails when you’re at dinner with family or friends? Do you really need to check FaceBook or Twitter throughout the day?
Cheryl Sklar With over 26 years of experience in sales, marketing and general coordination, Cheryl uses her varied organizational skills to enhance the behind-the-scenes efficiency of Network 1. She strives to help things run smoothly wherever she can.
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Network 1 Consulting is an 18-year-old, IT Support company in Atlanta, GA. We become – or augment – the IT department for law firms and medical practices. Our IT experts can fix computers, but what our clients value most are the industry-specific best practices we bring to their firms. This is especially important since technology, along with its associated regulations and threats, changes so rapidly. We take a proactive approach to helping our clients use technology to gain and keep their competitive advantage.