The Effects Of Cellphone Use On The Body

cell phone

Cellular phones have changed the way we interact with each other and the world around us. As we continue to look to our phones for more information and updates, it may be taking a toll on the human body. Specifically our musculoskeletal system.

The Facts:

  • 90% of American adults own a cell phone
  • 42% of American adults own a tablet or computer
  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader

The top average cell phone activity for both sexes broken down by minute Per Day:Texting: 94.6 minutes
Checking Emails: 48.5 minutes
Facebook: 38.6 minutes
Surfing The Internet: 34.4 minutes
Listening To Music: 26.9 minutes

Women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones. Male college students spend nearly 8 hours a day on their cellphones.

U.S. smartphone owners aged 18 to 24 send 2,022 texts per month, 67 texts on a daily basis, and receive another 1,831.

fifty-eight percent of American adults who own smartphones are at risk for “text neck”, (poor posture as a result continual cell phone use leading to early wear-and-tear on the spine, degeneration and even surgery) according to the Washington Post.

Cell Phone Effect “Text Neck”

Is the term used to describe the injuries and pain sustained from looking down at wireless devices for too long.

The symptoms associated with text neck are:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Neck pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Increased curvature of the spine

Cell Phone Use Effects The Hands & Wrists

Each year, 3.8 million people complain of injuries resulting from text messaging according to the nationwide survey by Virgin Mobile.

Cell Phone Effect “Texting Thumb”

Is a repetitive stress injury affecting the thumb and wrist. goes by other names you may have heard of:

  • De Quervain Syndrom
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Trigger Finger (Stenosing Tenosynovitis)
  • Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis)
  • Golfer’s Elbow (Medical Epicondylitis)

Pain and sometimes popping sounds are present on the outside of the thumb at or near the wrist. Texting Thumb is technically known as De Quervain’s syndrome.

When questioned, children often admit to having physical complaints during video game playing, for example, pain in the hands and wrists, back and neck.

The Solution

The solution for “text neck” and “text thumb” may seem simple:

Stop using your mobile device as much. Sometimes, though, we need to look at our phones for long periods of time.

To help prevent injuries, follow the tips below as outlined by orthopedic experts.

Treating Text Neck

Hold your phone at eye level as much as possible or look down at your device without bending your neck.

Take breaks from your phones and laptops throughout the day.


  • Move your head from left to right several times.
  • use your hands to provide resistance and push your head against them, first forward, and then backward.
  • Stand in a doorway with your arms extended and push your chest forward to strengthen the muscles for good posture.

Treating Texting Thumb

Take breaks from your phones and laptops throughout the day. Use your phone’s voice-to-text feature to give your fingers a break.

Try typing with a stylus to cut down on repetitive motion of your thumbs.

Switch hands occasionally so one hand isn’t continually doing all the work. Place your phone on a table and type from there to decrease irritation.

Try not to use the same muscle for other activities, ( texting vs. playing games)