How often do you carry your cellphone on your body; in your pants or shirt pocket for example? Cell phones emit low levels of radiofrequency energy and scientists have been conducting studies to determine if release of this energy can adversely affect your health.
Back in early 2000 when pagers were more popular, I would perform an experiment for a class of therapists that demonstrated how pagers can affect your body. I would have one of the students wear their pager, usually on their hip. As a class, we would observe their posture and measure range of motion and strength. Then I would ask the student to remove their pager from their body. The change was remarkable! Posture, range of motion and strength all improved!
Current communication technology has resulted in much more powerful equipment that we hold or wear in close proximity to our tissues for longer periods of time. Not only do we have cellphones, but we have smartphones which transmit electromagnetic radiation signals at a much higher rate than pagers do.
Wearing your cellphone for prolonged periods of time has been related to increase incidence of cancer and lower bone density. In a study published on WorldHealth.net, researchers evaluated the bone density of 150 men, who carried their cell phones on their belts for an average of 15 hours a day for an average of six years. They found that bone density was slightly reduced on the side of the pelvis where the men carried their cell phones. I warn my patients that if they have any bone density issues that it is imperative to not wear their cellphone on their bodies.
There are reports of young women that carried their cell phones in their bras developing breast cancer. Some have even developed tumors in the location they kept their phone Research is ongoing to determine if this is coincidence, or if the practice of carrying a cellphone inside a bra increases breast cancer.
I suggest following the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time, do not wear your cellphone on your body. Get used to carrying it in a purse or backpack. Twenty percent of the time it’s okay to carry it on your body for brief periods, like traveling from your house to your car.
Michele S Jang, PT is a physical therapist who likes to look outside the box. She has been a physical therapist for over 20 years and has extensive training in manual therapy or the use of hands to help rehabilitate the body. Michele has been an instructor both in the United States and abroad. She offers Free Consults on Tuesday afternoons. Michele also has a team of therapists at Spirit Winds who offer an array of expertise on exercise, fall prevention, foot and shoe assessments, body mechanics and proper breathing technique to increase awareness and healing. Michele can be reached at 805 543-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.