Most people consider their phone to be a fifth limb. They panic when it’s not within an arm’s reach and are constantly refreshing it to stay up to date with emails, texts, and calls. But the place where most people are storing their phone (especially men) is not only putting their beloved device at risk of breaking, but it’s also putting their health at risk.
You shouldn’t store your phone in your pocket, hands down. And admit it, you’re guilty of doing it. It’s bad for your phone and even worse for your health. (Another phone-related health risk? The screen has a lot more germs on it than you may realize.)
“When cell phones are on, connected to a wireless network, and placed in a pocket, the radiation is two to seven times higher than if it were placed in a purse or holster,” says Dr. Lily Friedman of Comprehensive Wellness Institute in South Florida. “There is a direct correlation between the radiation from a cell phone and tumor growth. The radiation can also change the structure of our DNA, affect male fertility, and has been linked to depression and heart irregularities. If placed in the pant pocket, the radiation can weaken the pelvic bones and decrease bone density.”
Simply put, the convenience of placing your phone right in your pocket isn’t worth the health risk. You’re better off getting a carrier for it or keeping it in your bag or on the table. If that seems like a struggle for you, it could be a sign that you’re addicted to your phone.
Dr. Friedman also warns that keeping your phone in your back pocket can lead to back problems. When we adjust our position while seated to avoid putting pressure on our phones, it can cause a structural and muscular imbalance, leading to severe back pain.
As if you need any more reasons to avoid storing your phone in your pocket, Emily Shapiro, an employee of the Apple reseller iPower Resale, says doing so is the second most common way that phone screens shatter.
“The phone can easily slip out without our noticing and costs phone owners $100 or more to fix!” Shapiro says. “What’s worse is when that fall lands the phone in a puddle, and the phone isn’t just shattered but dead.”
Bottom line: Save yourself the extra doctor and phone bills and keep your phone out of your pocket. If you’re smart, you’ll also stop using your phone before bed.