Long conversations with family and friends over cellphone could be raising your risk of high blood pressure. A recent study published in European Heart Journal — Digital Health found that talking for half-hour or more per week could lead to 12 per cent increase in hypertension compared to talking for less than 30 minutes. Holding your phone for an extended period can cause strain on neck, shoulders or back which may also lead to high blood pressure. Staying glued to your cellphone could also increase your stress levels which can in turn raise blood pressure. (Also read: World Hypertension Day 2023: 5 everyday drinks that can help lower blood pressure)
“In today’s fast-paced world, cellphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. However, our excessive use of cellphones may be contributing to the rise of a silent killer: high blood pressure. It may seem harmless to spend hours scrolling through social media, but the sedentary lifestyle it promotes can have detrimental effect on our health. Additionally, the blue light emitted by our cellphones can interfere with our natural sleep patterns, leading to poor sleep quality and elevated blood pressure levels. Moreover, stress and anxiety caused by excessive cellphone use can also contribute to hypertension. Poor eating habits and lack of physical activity associated with cellphone addiction can further contribute to high blood pressure. The time spent on mobile phones could be better utilized for exercising, meeting people in person, and engaging in outdoor activities, which undoubtedly have more health benefits. So, while we enjoy the convenience and entertainment offered by our cellphones, let us not forget the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, both for ourselves and for those around us,” says Dr Keshava R, senior director, interventional cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road Bengaluru.
Dr Rakesh Rai Sapra however does not completely agree with the study and said that whether or not a person develop high blood pressure can also depend on their personality or stress levels.
ADVISING PEOPLE TO NOT TALK ON CELLPHONE FAR-FETCHED
“There are a number of studies about link between cellphone usage and high blood pressure with very conflicting results. This is logical as there are a number of possible confounding factors to affect the result. Even the mental stress level and type of personality of the person could have an impact. Person who is talking more on telephone could have more issues to talk about and could be more mentally stressed as compared to others who talks merely 5-10 minutes per week on phone. In fact this could also be a reflection of nature or personality of the person. Such and many other factors are very difficult to assess and match. So advising people to talk less on cellphone to prevent development of hypertension seems too far-fetched to me,” says Dr. Rakesh Rai Sapra, Director and Senior Consultant-Cardiology, Marengo Asia Hospitals, Faridabad.
SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE COUPLED WITH STRESS COULD CAUSE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
Dr Saibal Chakravorty, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine, Metro Hospital and Heart Institute Noida says that sedentary lifestyle coupled with stress and posture issues could play a role in raising blood pressure. He lists the following reasons cellphone use could be raising blood pressure in people.
Sedentary lifestyle: Using your cellphone for extended periods is a significant risk factor for high blood pressure. Sitting or lying down for prolonged periods can decrease blood flow, which can cause your blood pressure to increase.
Stress: Excessive cellphone use can lead to stress and anxiety, which can contribute to high blood pressure. The constant need to check messages, notifications, and social media updates can cause a sense of urgency and pressure, leading to heightened stress levels.
Blue light: Cellphones emit blue light, which can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle and lead to insomnia. Lack of sleep can also increase the risk of high blood pressure and other health problems.
Physical effects: Holding your cellphone for extended periods can cause physical strain on your neck, shoulders, and back, which can also contribute to high blood pressure. Poor posture and tension in your muscles can cause your blood vessels to constrict, making it harder for blood to flow through your body.
Unhealthy habits: Lastly, excessive cellphone use can lead to unhealthy habits such as skipping meals, snacking on junk food, and neglecting physical exercise. These behaviours can all contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems.
“Overall, it is important to limit your cellphone use and take breaks frequently to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce your risk of high blood pressure,” concludes Dr Chakravorty.