Are you addicted to your smartphone? While it can be a lifesaver at times, it can also be a pain in the neck, literally. Here are 5 unwanted side effects of using your smartphone all the time:
- Cell Phone Elbow and Text Claw – “Text Claw” is a nonmedical term for sore muscles and finger cramping due to continuous texting, scrolling, and gaming on smartphones. Using your phone so much can also cause inflammation and enhance existing conditions like tendinitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. “Cell Phone Elbow” is a condition where you have tingling in the pinky and ring fingers after bending your elbows for extended periods of time.
- iPosture and Text Neck – These two conditions occur from slouching over your phone for hours at a time. It can ruin your neck and hurt your back muscles. According to a study of young adults in the U.K., 84 percent experienced back pain due to being hunched over smartphones, computers, and tablets.
- Computer Vision Syndrome – Starring at tiny fonts from your texts or tweets can cause eye strain, blurred vision, dry eyes, and dizziness. To ease discomfort, make your phone’s font size bigger and hold the phone at least 16 inches from your face. Every few minutes take a break from the screen by looking away and blinking.
- Nomophobia – Short for “no-mobile-phone-phobia” describes the fear of being away from your cell. In a U.K. study, 66 percent of the population fears losing their phone or being away from it at a given time. Symptoms include anxiety, obsessively checking to make sure you have your phone, and constantly worrying about losing it. The study found that women actually suffer from this more than men.
- Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome – This syndrome is when you think your phone is vibrating when in fact it isn’t. A good way to break the addiction? Turn your vibration feature off and only check your phone during designated hours. Try to also resist checking it every 5 minutes.