e-book 14 Ways Your Smartphone is Hurting Your Health

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This shortened attention span is a new development, and it's more pronounced in people who are "heavy multi-screeners. In addition to shortening your attention span, media multitasking can change the physical structure of your brain , research published in PLoS One suggests.

18 Ways Your Phone Is Ruining Your Health

People who engage in a higher amount of media multitasking actually had smaller grey matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex portion of their brain, which is linked to decreased cognitive control and socio-emotional regulation. Not only can too much screen time change the structure of your brain, it can also change the way you think.

Researchers from Dartmouth compared the takeaways people who read physical books got from a passage against those of people who read on screens, and they found that people who do their reading on a screen weren't as good at recognizing abstract concepts in the passages they read. And the ways a car crash can mess with your health, assuming you survive, are too almost too numerous to list.

The size of your phone may affect how assertive you are , according to research from the Harvard Business School. People who used smaller devices in the study continued to wait in their seat for a researcher to come back to them, rather than go to the front desk and get them as instructed. People using larger electronic devices took a more assertive approach. And unfortunately, the bad posture caused by hunching over small electronic devices is just one of 15 Daily Habits That Are Killing Your Confidence.

First your phone gave you tech neck, and now it's giving you texting thumb, a repetitive stress injury caused by too much texting. Smartphones aren't particularly ergonomic, and overusing one could cause you some pain in your thumb that might make you less dextrous, at least for the time being. Fortunately, your thumb just needs rest to recover, so if you find yours aching, put your phone away and consider one of The 50 Best Ways to Relax With Your Partner instead.

Kids these days don't have as much empathy as they used to. A study conducted at the University of Michigan found that college students from this decade are 40 percent less empathetic than college students were 30 years ago. The cause of this steep drop in empathy is presumed to be a combination of exposure to more media and social media, both of which we all conveniently carry around in our pockets all the time.

Three ways making a smartphone can harm the environment

Driving with your phone in your hand isn't the only way you're putting yourself at risk on the roads. A study published in the Journal of Community Health that observed 21, pedestrians at five busy intersections in Manhattan found that half of the people who were crossing in spite of a Don't Walk signal were wearing headphones, talking on the phone, or looking at an electronic device. So, phones do more than make people dangerous drivers: they make people dangerous pedestrians, too. Despite being the thing that keeps you connected to your entire circle of friends, your phone could be causing you social anxiety.

For many, this anxiety may be the result of feeling the need to respond immediately to every text, email, or notification you get. However, strangely enough, using your phone for professional reasons didn't cause increased stress. Nice to know your phone is only interfering with the stuff that actually matters! In addition to messing with your sleep cycle, looking at your phone in bed can also cause temporary blindness. If you lie on your side in the dark and look at your phone with one eye, you can go temporarily blind. It's probably a good idea to stop bringing your phone to bed.

If you use your phone to communicate verbally instead of via text, you might be spared texting thumb, but you could instead suffer "cell phone elbow," AKA cubital tunnel syndrome. Treatment includes switching the phone to your other arm, using a headset, or better yet, putting the phone down from time to time.

You take your phone with you everywhere—the kitchen, the bedroom, bathroom—so it should come as no surprise that thing is covered in germs. And then you put it on your face. Unsurprisingly, this might be a bad idea—superbug MRSA has been found on cell phones , after all.

And even if there's not MRSA on your phone, there are definitely some other not-s0-pleasant germs crawling around on that thing. You can pretty easily avoid temporary blindness in one eye from your phone, but eye strain is another matter entirely. Between the time you spend looking at a computer and the time you spend staring at your phone, it's fairly likely you're straining your eyes on a pretty regular basis. Constantly looking down at your phone can give you tech neck, but it can also lead to a painful condition called occipital neuralgia, which is caused when the occipital nerves at the base of your neck get compressed from looking down all the time, causing terrible headaches.

The headaches can be cured. The bad news?


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It requires a lot of injections, so be mindful of your posture. Plugging headphones into your ears and blasting some tunes from your phone is a great way to block out the sounds of traffic on your commute home. Unfortunately, it's also a great way to permanently damage your hearing.

Whenever possible, resist that urge to turn things to You'd like to imagine that doctors texting while operating doesn't happen, but it is sadly very much a thing. Multiple doctors have been caught in the operating room texting people while on the job. So either some of those people are lying likely or some of those people are using their phones while they are using the bathroom and before washing their hands also likely.

Unfortunately, figuring out how to safely clean your smartphone that is used all the time is even more difficult than it should be. Many manufacturers advise against using any type of household cleaner or even water to clean your phone and just using water won't do any good anyway.

Microfiber cleaning cloths may be safe and effective at removing dirt, but they won't remove germs. There are a few products out there that are aimed at cleaning smartphones that use various technologies such as UV light, but their efficacy is unclear at this point. Cleaning your phone with alcohol may effectively kill germs but you also risk damaging the phone. If you use a case for your phone that includes a screen cover, the problem is easier to solve since you can clean the cover without risk of damaging the phone itself.

If you don't have a case that covers the entire phone, do what you can to clean it, wash your hands frequently after touching your phone and don't use it when you are in the bathroom! Looking to avoid getting the flu? Our free guide has everything you need to stay healthy this season.

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