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Smartphones: Friend or Foe of Health?

By Genevieve Cunningham

Smartphones. We absolutely love them. It’s incredibly rare to find someone in today’s world who does not use one of these devices. In fact, if you did run across someone who didn’t have a smartphone, you would think they were weird. But has our obsession with this convenient device turned ugly? Have we taken it too far? Can we safely say that smartphones are beneficial in our lives; or is it possible that they’re starting to be more damaging than we originally thought possible? If you’re curious as to whether your smartphone is friend or foe in your life, take a look at these benefits and disadvantages of smartphone use.

The Benefits of the Phone

No matter what we think about the increase in technology, there’s absolutely no denying that it brings some positive aspects to our lives. For starters, carrying around a smartphone means that almost any information that you could possible need is at your fingertips. Recipes, how-to instructions, history, math equations. You name it … the internet can probably find it. You also have instant access to maps, calculators, messaging, email, and numerous other important gadgets. For these reasons, it’s easy to argue that smartphones are far more beneficial than they are negative in our lives.

The Negative Side Effects

Like everything else in life, smartphones have another side. A negative side. Smartphones have become an actual addiction for many people. They can’t go anywhere without it, and if they don’t have it, they quite literally feel lost. Smartphones also encourage inactivity, as you can literally sit for hours with instant entertainment. Lastly, our increased use of smartphones has literally shaped our bodies in a negative way. Our necks are bent so often, it’s creating pain and suffering. We’re also more likely to gain excess weight and suffer the side effects that come with it when our smartphone use is excessive.

How to Balance It

So what can we do? We all know that giving up our smartphones is not really an option. They’re too ingrained in our lives to do without. But what we can work toward is better balance. Limit your smartphone use to a certain number of hours per day. Ban the phone from the bed. Use it to download workout apps and get in some exercise. If you’re super addicted to the phone, scale yourself back slowly. The more balanced you can make your cell phone use, the easier it will be to improve your health and gain back a little piece of your life.

Just in case you were starting to panic, no one is suggesting that anyone does without smartphones for good. That wouldn’t be logical or beneficial in the world we live in today. But if you can manage the use of your device, you may be able to protect your physical and mental health while still gaining all of the positives of the smartphone era.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Collins, Colo.

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