It started as a portable telephone, capable of making and receiving calls over radio frequency, in the late 80s. A few decades later it has transformed into a power-packed device where calling is just one of the functionalities.
That is what we call a Mobile!
A small gadget that has subsumed many more devices into itself and has redefined every aspect of human life in so many ways that even an attempt to list them down would require another research.
In short, it has become an indispensable element of our daily lives.
Impact on Wellness
The extent of intrusion (one can also read this as dominance) of mobiles in our daily life has increased to a level that is now posing as a severe health risk. (Not talking about the psychological and social impact here)
By “design” mobile is supposed to be held in hand(s) and operated by keeping the screen in front of the eyes.
However the question is – How long is it possible to be in this posture?
Howsoever hard one may try but it is humanly impossible to keep your arms lifted to let the screen remain in front of an ‘upright’ neck. This leads to excessive pronation(bending) of the neck. A host of musculoskeletal and nervous issues have emanated out of this disastrous posture. Spondylitis, vertigo, migraine are just a few to name. So much so that we had to coin a new term for a new ailment – Text Neck.
The other sufferers are upper limbs, hands, arms shoulder, and back which have to remain in nonneutral postures for significant no hours in a day.
Lastly mobile is one of the most dominant factors behind immobility, thereby impacting every body part.
So in view of the author, “Today mobiles are by far the biggest obstacle to our wellness”.
With kids getting exposed to mobiles at an early age and education means being altered to go digital there is an imminent need to address these issues and have a firm plan to overcome these.
The Way Out
Moving back to a feature phone with just a call and text functionality might not be an option but there are still quite a few tangible things one can do
- Maximize the use of desktop version of the app, which is available for all the most widely used apps.
- Use earphones while taking calls (but don’t take that as an opportunity to fiddle with the screen simultaneously)
- Take the initiative of accumulating a few steps& stretches during phone calls
- Use mobile stands/ mounts while watching videos, taking classes, or video calls.
- Refer stats of your screen time. You might be in for some surprises!!
- Just switch them off for a few hours in a week (preferably every day)
Most importantly, we as a society have to come up with a ‘Code of Conduct’ which is aimed at a rational, healthy& sustainable usage of smartphones.
Time that we realize that we are born to live with our heads high.
Sar Utha Ke Jiyo!