The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

The Student News Site of Champion High School

Charger Ink.

Silent Decline: Adverse Physical Effects of Cell Phone Usage

Aubrey Day

 Today, over 20.54 million teenagers in the United States have access to cell phones. Phones are inescapable, yet the physical issues of constantly using them are dismissed. 


 Young people are especially vulnerable to the consequences due to their dependence on technology. On average, teens spend 7 hours and 22 minutes on their phones, so the impact they have on this generation can not be overstated.


“Excessive use of cell phones has been attributed to an increase in both physical and mental health issues including eye strain, neck pain, back pain, and sleep disturbances,” Hillary Harter, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, said. 


The most common symptom is eye strain, which is caused by phone screens’ blue light. Blue light has a shorter wavelength than the other frequencies on the light spectrum, which can damage vision. 


“They can really strain your eyes. If you look at them for hours at a time, your eyes will get tired,” Nurse Ellwood said.


“Constant exposure to blue light over time could damage retinal cells and cause vision problems. It can also contribute to cataracts, eye cancer, and growths on the clear covering over the white part of the eye. According to a vision study by the National Eye Institute, children are more at risk than adults because their eyes absorb more blue light from digital devices.” Melissa Barnett, from the  UC Davis Eye Center, said.


Alarmingly, sleep is also constantly disrupted, which interrupts the body’s regeneration, weakening it significantly. 


“Exposure to blue light before bedtime also can disrupt sleep patterns as it affects when our bodies create melatonin. Interruption of the circadian system plays a role in the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep disorders, and cognitive dysfunctions,” Barnett said. 


Another factor that frequently goes unnoticed is the constant slouching. People have become accustomed to bending their necks for hours while looking at screens, which can severely affect posture, a significant part of bodily health. 


“For every inch your head slouches to look at your phone, you add 10 pounds of pressure to your shoulders…..if your head is four inches down when using your mobile device, that is similar to having a child sit on your shoulders the entire time,” an article on Back and Neck Pain Center Chiropractic said.


Perhaps most sinister is the unnoticed radio wave radiation from phones through WiFi. It can impair cell functioning, which could be detrimental in the long term. 


“That kind of radiation can chemically damage your DNA and increase your risk of cancer,” Maureen Salamon from WebMD said.


The damaging effects of this new technology have already become apparent in this generation, and with continued overuse, humanity could be digging itself into a deep hole. Awareness is necessary to keep people from falling in. 


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