How Health Smart is Your Phone?

Your Cell Phone Rings and You're in the Bathroom

Your cellphone probably goes with you everywhere. Ever check it while you were — errr — in the bathroom? And when’s the last time you cleaned it? It makes sense that there might be bacteria, viruses, or other germs on it. One study found 1 in 6 phones has fecal matter on it! On the bright side, it’s a hard surface, which usually makes it harder for germs to survive. Still, it’s probably a good idea to wipe it down now and then. Unless, maybe that splash you just heard was your phone taking a nose dive into the toilet!

Do You Have Text Neck Syndrome?  Too much time looking down at your phone can strain your neck muscles and cause tightness or spasms. You might even get nerve pain that goes to your back, or to your shoulder and down your arm. Take breaks at least every 20 minutes to stretch and arch your back. Try not to hunch forward. It helps to hold your phone higher up when you text, too. Posture exercises from yoga or Pilates will help you stay strong and avoid neck pain.

Have you ever pinched the phone between your shoulder and ear while you do something else? It’s not a natural position. Do it for too long and you’ll probably notice that your neck hurts. If you can’t avoid it, take breaks and move your neck in other directions to keep it loose. If the damage is done, simple rest, a heating pad, and over-the-counter drugs for pain and stiffness should help. Talk to your doctor if it lasts more than a few days.

Texting and Driving? Just don’t do it. But, how about Texting and Talking on the phone? Maybe you think it’s pretty safe to talk on the phone when you drive. It’s not. You’re 4 times more likely to crash when you do it. It is a cause in more than a million crashes a year, or 20% of all car wrecks, including those that injure and kill people. If you really need to take or make a call, pull over.

Earphones?  Recently there was a news story about an 11 year old girl hit by a train because she had earphones on while she was walking on the tracks and looking down at her phone.  The Engineer blew the train whistle several times, but she never looked up. He couldn’t get stopped in time.

Walkin or Talkin not Both.  You’re walking down the sidewalk and need to send a quick text. How long does it take? A few seconds? Enough time to trip and fall into a parking meter or car traffic. Just stop for a moment. Those seconds aren’t worth an accident. And it’s not just outside: The most common injuries happen while talking on the phone at home — usually muscle and tendon strains, broken bones, and head injuries. (Health Solutions)

You’ve just got to be smarter than the phone, and sometimes that in itself is a challenge. Have a Happy and Healthy New Year.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email