Health Hazards of Mobile Devices

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

The age of mobile devices reached a milestone last month. According to the latest research from the Pew Internet and American Life project, as of February, just over half of all U.S. adults own a smartphone [1]. In fact, some readers are viewing this on a mobile device right now. If you’re reading this on your iPad or smartphone: how is your neck positioned? How close are you holding your device to your face? Staring down and squinting at a small, bright screen for several hours a day clearly isn’t healthy, and as a reminder the infographic below “Are Mobile Devices Destroying Your Body?” illustrates some of the health risks of mobile devices and provides some prevention tips.

Some of the statistics presented may seem alarming, especially the one citing that “a recent WHO study showed a correlation between radiation from mobile devices and a brain cancer called glioma.” While it’s true that there was a recent World Health Organization (WHO) study [2], to date, there is no convincing evidence that cell phones cause cancer. Based largely on several large multinational epidemiological studies, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, which is the category used when a causal association is considered credible, but when chance, bias or confounding cannot be ruled out with reasonable confidence.

Nevertheless, this infographic highlights some important issues (e.g. texting while driving) and offer some good tips for both mobile device and general computer use. In particular, computer vision syndrome (CVS) has been called a widely spreading but largely unknown epidemic among computer users. CVS affects just about everyone, including kids. To help prevent CVS, blink more often, use saline drops and find protective eyewear. For more tips on how you can reduce your risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of CVS, AllAboutVision.com offers 10 Steps for Relief from Computer Eye Strain.

Infographic: Are Mobile Devices Destroying Your Body?

Are mobile devices destroying your body?

Via: GigaOM

References

  1. 46% of American adults are smartphone owners. Pew Internet and American Life Project report. 2012 Mar 1.
  2. Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones. World Health Organization (WHO). 2011 Jun.
About the Author

Walter Jessen is Principal at Highlight Health Media, which publishes Highlight HEALTH. He's also a senior writer at Highlight HEALTH.