Hazardous Handphones? 4 Healthy Handphone Habits

Mobile phones (or handphones as Malaysians call it) have now become an essential tool for us. Most of us are unable to “survive” a day without using our phones. Therefore, it is important to use our phones in a safe way to avoid unnecessary harm. Here are several tips on healthy mobile phone usage.

  1. Avoid excessive phone use into the night

Blue light can affect our normal circadian rhythm by suppressing melatonin hormones which help the body to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. It is recommended to reduce screen time before sleep. Too much blue light exposure late at night from mobile phone usage will make it harder to fall asleep.1

 

2. Reduce eye exposure to blue light

Researchers have found that blue light may turn vital molecules in our retina into harmful components which can damage photoreceptor cells. Therefore, to protect ourselves from blue light we can wear glasses that filter blue light, or use blue light filters on our phone screens. Looking at mobile phone or tablet screens in the dark causes our pupils to dilate. This may allow more blue light to enter and damage our eyes.2

 

3. Keep your phone clean

Mobile phones are a breeding ground for various microorganisms. It can be a potential disease transmitter as it may harbor more microorganisms than the lavatory seat! Contamination occurs through contact of our phones with dirt from the handbag, phone pouch, bags, pockets, environment and food particles. Hence, we should regularly  clean our phones with disinfectants to reduce the growth of microorganisms on the mobile phone.3

 

4. Keep a healthy Posture

Prolonged use of mobile phones may negatively impact our posture! Research has shown that with every inch of a forward head posture, the weight of the head on the spine increases by an additional 10 pounds (4.5kg). Therefore, during phone usage, always be reminded to bring the phone to the eye level in order to prevent unconscious slouching. 4,5

 

 

 

References:

1. Ayaki M, Hattori A, Maruyama Y, Nakano M, Yoshimura M, Kitazawa M et al. Protective effect of blue-light shield eyewear for adults against light pollution from self-luminous devices used at night. Chronobiology International. 2016;33(1):134-139.

2. Blue light excited retinal intercepts cellular signaling [Internet]. Scientific Reports. 2018 [cited 24 April 2019]. Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-28254-8

3. Mobile phone as potential reservoirs of bacterial pathogens [Internet]. 2012 [cited 24 April 2019]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307723213_Mobile_phone_as_potential_reservoirs_of_bacterial_pathogens

4.  Which Reference Line Describes Head Position Best? [Internet]. Journal of Physiotherapy and Physical Rehabilitation. 2016 [cited 24 April 2019]. Available from: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/which-reference-line-describes-head-position-best-jppr-1000110.php?aid=76329&view=mobile

5. Fix Text Neck with These 6 Exercises and Lifestyle Tips [Internet]. Healthline. 2019 [cited 24 April 2019]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/text-neck-treatment#prevention-tips