Smartphones: You’ve Been Using Them All Wrong!
Smartphones. Is there anything they can’t do? Well, it turns out, they can’t stop you from falling into bad habits or screwing up your health. At least, not the mindless way most of us are using them.
Tech addiction is a real and present danger. The sooner we realize how it’s affecting our physical, mental, and social well-being, the sooner we can break free of its shackles and live more mindfully.
Now, we’re not suggesting you give up your smartphone – that would suck – but rather that you use it responsibly and in a way that doesn’t harm your health. Sound good? Read on to find out how you can tame the beast and turn your phone into a weapon for wellness.
Tweet Dreams Are Made of This
The urge to steal a little extra screen time is hard to resist, even for the most self-disciplined among us.
Rarely do we think about how that extra tweet, DM, or Insta post wrecks our sleep.
LCD screens have harmful effects like inhibiting production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This artificial dose of sunlight at night screws up our circadian rhythms, so our brains aren’t sure when to take a break. The exhaustion you feel even after a solid night’s sleep is likely due to a lack of melatonin.
But what about the rest of your body? Hunching over your phone in bed is hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep. We recommend not using your phone before bed, but if you must then at least pay attention to healthy sleeping positions. This can help you wake up without all that stiffness and soreness in your neck and back.
Hello, My Eyes Are Up Here!
Overuse of your phone isn’t just putting your physical health at risk. Studies have found that constantly reaching for your device during social interactions can create a negative impression of you (well, duh!). For some, the mere sight of a mobile phone during a conversation screams anti-social, making you seem uninterested, aloof, and, frankly, boring.
Millennials and Gen Zers may not remember a time before cell phones, but they certainly care about the image they project to the world. We all do, to an extent. What does your phone etiquette say about you?
Gravity Got You Down?
Over the years, technology has given rise to some weird and wonderful medical ailments, the most recent of which being Text Neck; that hunched-over look you get when you spend too long looking down at your phone.
Our heads are heavy objects, designed to be held up at a certain angle (thanks a lot, gravity!). Tilting your head downward for extended periods puts as much as 60 pounds of pressure on your spine. This can lead to lifelong back and neck pain – the damage may even be permanent.
When you assume an upright posture, you are, by definition, keeping your head up and in perfect alignment with the rest of your body. Try to be mindful of this the next time you find yourself hunched over your phone or computer.
NSFW (Not Safe for Walking)
How many times have you come within a hair’s breadth of being knocked down by a car or bicycle because you were focused on your phone instead of looking where you were going? Mm-hm. No use denying it!
Short of attaching a periscope to your phone, you’re just going to have to start looking up more. Luckily, it’s easy to train yourself to be more aware of your body and your surroundings. How you carry your body governs how you move through space, so it’s crucial that you develop spatial awareness through good posture to avoid becoming another statistic.
Oversharing Is Not Caring!
If you’ve been to a music concert in the last 10+ years, you will have noticed the sea of smartphones all pointed at the stage. Because, you know, #YOLO. Now, you might dismiss this need to be “always on” as a sign of the times, but it’s stopping us from living in the moment. And because our brains are being rewired to constantly expect these artificial stimuli, we’re experiencing elevated levels of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
So, the next time you feel the urge to pull out your phone to capture the moment – don’t. Simply be present and take it all in. You’ll soon find that this small but repeated shift in behavior is all it takes to create new and lasting habits.
Things That Go Bump in the Night
How serious is the slouching epidemic, you ask?
A recent study suggests that nearly 50% of young people are “growing horns” as a result of sustained terrible posture. These strange mutations are, in actual fact, tiny protrusions on the base of the skull that range in size from 10-30 millimeters. The culprit? You guessed it – hours spent hunched over their phones and computers.
The good news is these bumps are harmless and can be corrected simply by adopting healthy screen habits and improving their posture. So, no need to run out and call an exorcist just yet!
Checked In with Yourself Lately?
As I mentioned earlier, it’s so easy to get distracted by technology in today’s modern world, we sometimes forget to be present. As a result, we may stop listening to our bodies and develop unhealthy habits that end up hurting us. Every now and then, it’s important to take a step back from all the digital noise and assess your well-being: Are you drinking enough water? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising enough? Are you practicing good posture? Improving your body alignment through repeated action serves as a type of meditation and is a great way to stay centered.
There Is a Smarter Solution
We’re only just starting to see the fallout from spending too much time with our phones. Bad habits have formed that we might not even be aware of. The trick is to become more mindful of our bodies and slowly adopt healthy new behaviors. With practice and time, we can undo the harmful effects of endless scrolling, swiping, and tapping. Paired with the right technology, we can actually use our phones to boost our health and achieve peak wellness.
Take the UPRIGHT GO 2 for example. This tiny smart device attaches to your back and gently vibrates anytime you slouch, prompting you to adjust the way you sit, stand, and move around. Sync it with your phone and get instant biofeedback to track your progress. With regular training, you’ll notice significant improvements to your posture in under 14 days. This, in turn, will make you appear taller and more confident, boost your energy and focus, and make you feel generally healthier.
Now, isn’t that something worth phoning home about?