Skip to content

What Staring at Your Phone Every Day Does To Your Body

Spending too much with your phone could seriously affect your health.
woman with depressed facial expression sitting on grey textile couch holding her phone

Your phone connects you to work, friends, family, fun—and the news. It's your lifeline. But it's easy to get carried away and spend way too much time staring at that seven-inch screen. In fact, participants in a smartphone usage study published in the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health were found to "use smartphones around 4 hours daily."

"Smartphones can easily get our attention and distract us. People, especially students, therefore are easily overusing the smartphone," the study concluded. So what can this overuse do to our bodies? Find out what staring at your phone every day does to your body. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

1

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause Sleep Problems

Man using his mobile phone in the bed
Shutterstock

"Melatonin is a hormone in your body that plays a role in sleep. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is connected to time of day, increasing when it's dark and decreasing when it's light," according to the Mayo Clinic.

"Exposure to solid-state, LED panels emitting narrowband light in shorter wavelengths of the spectrum may provide a nonpharmacological countermeasure for disrupted sleep, desynchronized circadian rhythms, or diminished alertness," according to a study from the Journal of Applied Physiology

2

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause Eye Strain

man using smart phone and holding his head in pain at home
Shutterstock

"When you look at a screen, you're so involved that you forget to blink. The blink rate goes from 15 times a minute to five or seven times per minute," Dr. Matthew Gardiner said in a recent interview with Harvard Health

"Bright light sources can feel uncomfortable," Dr. Gardiner says. This discomfort is caused by the glare from the phone screen and need to consistently focus, which can cause eye strain or blurry vision.

3

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause Neck Pain

Shot of tired young woman with neck pain holding her mobile phone at the office.
Shutterstock

"Staring at your phone all day as most people do places you in a position where your neck is flexed and your face looking down," says Dr. Colin Bartoe, "Over time this can create a lot of strain on the neck, causing muscle spasms, pain, and even longer lasting wear and tear to the spine itself. There is even a term for the condition, "Text Neck"!"

4

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause Anxiety and Depression

woman using phone
Shutterstock

"Intense or frequent mobile phone usage is seen to be associated with a broad array of mental health related symptoms, behaviors, and psychological factors," according to a study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

"The time spent on devices takes time from other activities and health-related behaviors, such as physical activity, supportive social interactions, or staying on task at work or school." The study concludes that mobile phone content "can generate higher levels of psychological stress and physiological arousal. Higher levels of arousal can have a negative impact on sleep and recovery and in other ways contribute to stress and ill health."

5

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause Wrist Pain

Woman holding her wrist pain from overuse smartphone.
Shutterstock

"Wrist pain is common among mobile phone users and an increase in use of mobile phones increases pain and disability of wrist joints," according to a study from Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences

The more you stay on your phone, the worse this pain can get. "Duration of mobile phone usage was found to be of significant association factor that could lead to wrist pain and disability," the study concluded.

6

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause Bad Posture

Man using smartphone sitting hunched down having scoliosis in the office of therapist at the clinic
Shutterstock

"Prolonged smart phone usage causes faulty posture, such as forward neck posture, slouched posture, or rounded shoulders," according to a study from the Journal of Physical Therapy Science

"If people concentrate on watching the relatively small screen, they tend to bend their neck more to look at the screen. This may be the reason for the development of more severe problems," the study concluded.

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says You Don't Have to Do This Anymore to Avoid COVID

7

Too Much Phone Time Can Cause An Addiction

A woman laying on sofa holding phone.
Shutterstock

"Mobile phone addiction and withdrawal from mobile networks may increase anger, tension, depression, irritability, and restlessness which may alter the physiological behavior and reduce work efficacy," according to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation. Phone addiction is real and the more time you spend staring, the more you'll want to stare. As for yourself, stay healthy during this time of COVID-19: Practice self-care by putting down the phone once in a while, wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Kelly Hernandez
Kelly Hernandez is a health and wellness writer and certified personal trainer. Read more
Filed Under