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Could mobile phones be putting our health at risk?

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Did you know that around 93% of adults in the UK use mobile phones? While it seems harmless to pick up your phone and send a text to your friend, is it?

The radio waves produced by mobile phones are non-ionising electromagnetic radiation, a low form of energy. Current research suggests that it’s unlikely these radio waves can increase our risk of any health problems. However, there hasn’t been enough research into the long-term effects to truly know the health risks.

What research has been done into mobile phones and cancer?

Cancer Research UK have addressed the public’s concerns about the possible links between mobile phones and cancer. They published a blog post following research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which concluded that mobile phones can ‘possibly’ cause cancer in humans.

However, mobile phones are now a part of nearly everyone’s lives so rather than stopping using them completely, you could work on ways to reduce the time you spend on your phone.

How can I reduce my exposure to mobile phones?

While concerns shouldn’t be made about mobile phone exposure until sufficient research is conducted, if you do want to reduce the potential risks associated with mobile phone exposure:

  • Only make short calls
  • Only let children use mobile phones for essential purposes
  • Use a hands free kit to keep your phone as far away from your head as possible
  • Set specific times of the day where you won’t use your phone
  • Consider the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of a mobile phone before you buy it.

Radio wave exposure is not the only thing you should be thinking about when using your mobile phone. One of the largest risks mobile phones have to our health is:

Using your mobile phone while driving

Using your mobile phone while driving diverts your attention off the road. Conditions on the road can change within even a few seconds of you turning to look at your phone. Making your chances of having an accident soar through the roof!

Not only is it dangerous to use your hand held mobile phone while driving, it’s illegal. We all know how tempting it can be to check your phone quickly while stuck in traffic or waiting at red traffic lights. So, to avoid any distractions:

  • Keep your phone switched off or on do not disturb while driving (iOS 11 iPhones have a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature)
  • If you need to use your mobile phone, stop in a safe place
  • Avoid using a hands free device (these can be just as distracting)

For more health and fitness advice, check out this blog post!

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