Text messaging, e-mails, and video games have helped build our sedentary society. We sit while we text. We sit while we e-mail. We sit while we play video games. We stand for a moment then we sit some more. You are probably sitting right now as you read this. I am sitting while I write it. Those who sit and ‘research the effects of sitting’ believe that text messaging, e-mailing, and playing video games are as much to blame as television for the decline in good health. If you wish to confirm this, have a seat and look it up on the Internet! If your research confirmed these contentions about text messaging, e-mails, and video games, then you may also have discovered that cell phones perform all of these functions.
Mobile Phones and Weight Gain
Researchers began to take interest in the connection between cell phone use and general fitness because the portability of cell phones allows use even during low to moderate physical activity. It was discovered that cell phone mobility contributes to the sedentary behavior that can lead to weight gain. Read: Weight Gain of Only a Few Pounds Can Be Too Much
A survey of 305 college students collected information about fitness levels and body compositions. Of those 305 participants, 49 had their fitness levels and body compositions tested. The results showed that students who spent large amounts of time per day on their mobile phones were less fit than students who averaged a bit more than 90 minutes of use each day. Those students who qualified as frequent users spent as much as 14 hours per day on mobile phones.
Participants who spent long periods of time on mobile phones were also more likely to use leisure time for playing video games or watching movies. They were less likely to exercise and would end any physical activity if the phone rang.
Cell Phones and Health
Doctors at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have noticed that many patients who use cell phones complain of eye soreness, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, and muscle strain. They also found that people who use cell phones blink half as often as people who do not use cell phones and experience drying of the eyes. Staring at cell phone screens for extended periods also causes headaches.
Can mobile phones cause cancer? While there is a great deal of controversy regarding a connection between the use of mobile phones and cancer, there is limited evidence that mobile phone radiation is carcinogenic.
The evidence is compelling enough that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones as a possible carcinogenic.
Cell Phones and Weight Loss and Good Health
It’s best to limit cell phone use to a small portion of your day rather than the 5-hours per day the average American is currently spending. And yes, there’s an app to help you with that! Check out BreakFree-app.com the mobile app, aimed at controlling smart phone addiction and helping you maintain a healthy digital lifestyle.
In the plus column, your cell phone can be used to aid weight loss. A study found people lose more weight when they receive interventions such as text-message reminders on their mobile phones. Using one of the many mobile apps with daily text messages or videos incites the user to think about dieting and eating well. Meditation apps or listening to music on your phone while running or exercise are beneficial. So are weight loss fitness tracker apps (check out our picks for fitness trackers) and weight loss journal websites like FitDay.com and MyFitnessPal.com.
The bottom line: Spend your cell phone time judiciously!
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life