By: Dorcas Whajah Cobbina
Technology has over the past few years been helpful to our generation. Many of our hard work is done easily within a twinkle of an eye with technological devices and mobile phones is one of such necessary technological device.
Over the past few years, mobile phone has left the category of luxury goods to necessity goods. It has become the integral parts of our lives that we can hardly live without. Most of our messages sent over the years and being waited for replies in days are now easily sent and replies received in less than a minute, all with the introduction of mobile phones. Not only has mobile phones made communication easier, but it has made certain aspect of our lives easier.
The use of mobile phones is increasing worldwide, because it is being used everywhere. It was estimated in 2011 that there were around five billion mobile users around the world. However,the excessive use of mobile phones causes a threat or harm to our health issues.
Research findings suggest users are at risk of muscular skeletal problems from mobile phone use, radio frequency damage from storage of the phone on the body, particularly when the person is ‘on the move’, and impaired performance from multi-tasking and sleep disturbance.
Since long term or heavy usage of mobile phones is an unknown factor, caution is needed with regard to the risks associated with these findings.Mobile phones communicate with base stations using radiofrequency (RF) radiation. If RF radiation is high enough, it has a ‘thermal’ effect, which means it raises body temperature. There are concerns that the low levels of RF radiation emitted by mobile phones could cause health problems such as headaches or brain tumors.
In May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified RF radiation as ‘possibly carcinogenic for humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a type of brain cancer’. One can reduce this exposure to RF radiation by: “choosing a mobile phone model that has a low specific absorption rate (SAR), which refers to the amount of RF radiation absorbed by body tissues, using a landline phone if one is available, keeping your mobile phone calls short, using a hands-free kit,not carrying your mobile phone close to your body when it is switched on”.
Mobile phone use can also have other indirect health effects
Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome:From time to time, many of us have a feeling that our cell phone is vibrating in our bag when actually it’s not. We check it immediately and see that it was a false alarm. This phenomenon is called a phantom pocket vibration syndrome. Dr. Michelle Drouin undertook a study and found that 89% of teenagers had experienced this kind of affection.This especially relates to the undergraduates having a social media addiction. They are more anxious and nervous. Missing another text message feels like a real tragedy to them.
Blurred Vision:When texting someone or reading an article on the Internet, we have to stare at a small-sized screen of our cell phone. That can put a lot of strain on our eyes. They can dry out and hurt when blinking. Eventually, this may result in visual deterioration.
Sleep Disorders: Microwave radiation transmitted by a cell phone is harmful to a brain. Having a mobile device at hand can also end up with insomnia. You’ll feel tempted to check it at night. You won’t be able to sleep properly because of its vibrating and beeping. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious mental health problems.
Neck and Back Pain:A healthy spine is one of the key factors of our well-being. When we sit or stand using a cell phone for a couple of hours per day, we ruin our neck and back muscles. Aching neck muscles can cause a headache to make things worse.
Precautions to reduce mobile phone radiation exposure
Shutting a cell phone’s vibration option off is a good way to combat this syndrome.To maintain clear sight, keep your device at least 16 inches away from your face. Read extensive articles on your PC or a laptop screen only. If you currently suffer from eye discomfort, make the font size bigger on your cell phone. And don’t forget to consult an eye specialist if needed.
To stay healthy, you need to watch your posture every time you use a cell phone. Sure, this may seem annoying until it becomes a habit. Turning a cell phone off or limiting the time of its usage would also relieve a spine from pressure.It is important to understand the risks and possible effects of mobile phone use, and make up your own mind about how you use your mobile phone.
A student of Ghana Institute of Journalism