‘Really Helpful’: Dr. Mosley Says Putting Down Your Phone Can Reduce Back Pain
Small enough to fit in your pocket, phones are no longer just for calling and texting. Tiny devices cover everything from diaries to cameras and navigation to entertainment. According to Dr. Michael Mosley, while smartphones can make your life a lot easier, their benefits are unfortunately not without a cost to your health.
The Just One Thing host is not against phones, quite the contrary. Speaking on his podcast, Dr. Mosley said: “This is really weird.
“I’ve spent most of my career with a paper diary, looking through information in books, but now I use my phone for everything.”
And the doctor isn’t the only one to blame for heavy phone use, as adults in the UK spend an average of almost three hours on smart devices a day.
It is alarming that research is increasingly showing that phones can lead to poor posture.
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The Family Chiropractic Clinic explains that cell phones can indeed cause back pain.
It all depends on how you stand when using the device. The clinic explains: “When we look at a mobile phone, the head leans forward, and the muscles of the back and neck get tired faster.
“That’s because our heads are actually quite heavy and need the support of our entire neck and back throughout the day.”
Luckily, Dr. Mosley shared that turning off your phone can “reduce back pain.”
The podcaster said: “A large study in Sweden of over 7,000 young people found that sending fewer text messages was associated with lower levels of neck and upper back pain.
“And Korean researchers have found that spending four or more hours a day with a smartphone not only leads to poor posture, but also reduces respiratory function—how well you breathe.”
While putting your phone down might be a good start, Professor Adrian Ward of the University of Texas at Austin suggested it might not be enough.
Speaking about Dr. Mosley’s podcast, Ward said: “Every time your phone is in the environment, it presents all these wonderful and useful things.
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“He presents videos of cats and our friends, work emails, our calendars – it grabs our attention.
“And so, even when we’re not paying attention to our phones, when we’re actually resisting that urge to take our phones and text our friends, or go to YouTube, or go on social media, the process of controlling our attention uses some of the these limited cognitive resources.”
This means that simply having your phone near you can lead to a decrease in cognitive abilities and brain power.
Unfortunately, turning off the device is also not enough. Ward added: “We found that the cognitive cost is the same if your phone is always at hand, whether it is turned on or not.
“If he’s still there, you can still see him.
“It still reminds you of all the things you could be doing on or with your phone.”
So, if you want to have a good time without your smartphone, you should keep it in another room.
The good news is that, according to Dr. Mosley, it can improve your sleep, mental performance, mood, and reduce back pain.
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