Dr. Manas Pradhan From Different Corners
Digital Gadgets and Health Hazards
Digital gadgets have become a necessity in digital era of modern life style.
The unstructured use of these devices are resulting in many health problems among all age groups. Mobile phones, internet, social networking sites, and texting have changed the way we see the world [Sarla, 2019]. Not only mobile phones television, gaming devices, laptops and iPads also plays major role. The excessive use of such devices have resulted to musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. These disorders are affecting muscles, tendons, neck, shoulder, forearm, hand, wrist, eyes, nerves, brain and behavior. The overgrowing increases of social platform such as face book, Instagram and WhatsApp added more screen time to use digital devices. During Covid-19, the digital platform was inevitable for children and youth as every country had to facilitate online education.
Some of the common health hazards are mentioned below:
Affecting Muscles –Using a laptop or phone or gaming controller for a long period of time siting or laying down in a wrong posture and reputedly using typing causes health issues in the spine of neck , back and thumb . (Roggio, F., et.la (2021))
Affecting Eyes: The blue lights from screen damages the cells if continuously spent using or watching device for long time. Blue light is dangerous as it contains photon energy whose wave length is higher than other visible light. The blue light – delays melatonin production .Melatonin is responsible for reducing stress level of eyes and helps in sleeping. Common symptoms are irritation, redness and blurred vison. (Wong, N. A., & Bahmani, H.) (2022).
Affecting Ears: The use of earpods, headphones, and other music players affected the cells in the inner ear. The medical reason is that some of the information from the ear may be distorted while passing to the brain. (Wasmann, J. W. A., et.la (2021)).
Affecting Mental Health: Social media addiction affects in reducing physical world friends, distract from work and risky behavior and FIMO(Fear of missing out ).(FOMO) is an emotional response comparing other people and fear that something missed if not attentive on social media which causes dissatisfaction and depression . (Serrano, M. T. (2020))
Solutions: Technology evolves rapidly so the lifestyle changes .With few above problem mentioned it is time to be preventive and aware about meticulous use of devices and technology to protect our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Some of suggestive steps are as below.
• Hospitals and physician should give guidance to avoid extensive use of digital devices and its negative impact on health.
• All organizations should organize awareness program about health impact of digital devices.
• Every individual needs to cautious about the digital habits by avoiding overwhelmed with too much information from social media or message as digital detox.
• The digital activity can be monitor by assigning daily time limit of use. Devices can be used for betterment like smartphones have the monitoring features and one can analyze the time spent and can control.
• Sleeping disorder is major problem due to stress on eye .One should disconnect the phone or devices to have less strain for good sleep .Few steps such as putting your phone to nighttime mode, silence your notifications and turning screen to grayscale to minimize blue light.
• Spend the food time with your family and friends for physical socialization keeping device aside.
• Avoid app notifications by setting the options of temporary pause so that it should disturb your important daily work.
• Make digital silence in your home for few dedicated hours by switching of all digital devices and spend quality time.
• Social group like WhatsApp can be set timing as digital silence.
• For children ensure to set up parental control to protect them from unwanted contents and apps.
This article highlighted few impacts of digital devices on health .As a solution, self-control and awareness is needed to use technology in a positive way rather as an addiction.
1. Sarla, G.S. (2019) Excessive use of electronic gadgets: health effects. Egypt J Intern Med 31, 408–411. https://doi.org/10.4103/ejim.ejim_56_19.
2. Roggio, F., Ravalli, S., Maugeri, G., Bianco, A., Palma, A., Di Rosa, M., & Musumeci, G. (2021). Technological advancements in the analysis of human motion and posture management through digital devices. World Journal of Orthopedics, 12(7), 467.
3. Wong, N. A., & Bahmani, H. (2022). A review of the current state of research on artificial blue light safety as it applies to digital devices. Heliyon, e10282.
4. Wasmann, J. W. A., Lanting, C. P., Huinck, W. J., Mylanus, E. A., Van der Laak, J. W., Govaerts, P. J., ... & Barbour, D. L. (2021). Computational audiology: new approaches to advance hearing health care in the digital age. Ear and hearing, 42(6), 1499.
5. Serrano, M. T. (2020). Fear of missing out (FoMO) and Instagram use: Analysis of the relationships between narcisim and self-esteem. Aloma: Revista de Psicologia, Ciències de l'Educació i de l'Esport, 38(1), 31-38.