Everywhere you look, someone is carrying a cell phone. Many people see these devices as extensions of themselves.
Whether in your purse, in your hands, or your pocket, a cell phone is always within arm’s reach in case a text message, an email, or a phone call comes in. It doesn’t matter how old you are, cell phones span across generations.
In addition to the previous studies reporting that cell phones may be hazardous to our health, a recent small study found new evidence – this time, with regards to our bone health.
Cell Phones Linked to Weaker Bones
In a small study from Argentina, researchers found that wearing a cell phone on your waist can contribute to weaker hip bones.
The researchers measured bone mineral content and bone mineral density in the left and right hips of 24 men. The men carried their cell phones in a pouch on their belts for at least one year. Another 24 men who did not have cell phones were used in the study for comparison.
The two groups of men had similar bone mineral content and density measurements, but the men who carried their phones on their belt had lower bone mineral content in the right femoral neck – located at the top of the thigh bone.
The study also uncovered that cell phone carriers had lower bone mineral content and density in the right trochanter at the outside top of the thigh bone. Right and left trochanter differences were also dependent on the number of hours carrying the cell phone on the right side.
Study author Dr. Fernando D. Sravi said, “The different patterns of right-left asymmetry in femoral bone material found in mobile cellphone users and nonusers are consistent with a nonthermal effect of electromagnetic radiofrequency waves not previously described.”
According to the researchers, the findings reveal that long-term cell phone use is associated with loss of bone mineral content and density due to exposure to electromagnetic radiation. The researchers did caution that a larger study must be carried out to confirm their findings.
It may be wise to avoid keeping your cell phone close to your body for prolonged periods until there is further investigation into the issue.
Lifestyles That Impact Your Bone Health
Everyone loves settling down for the evening to watch their favorite shows. But it can be all too easy to spend endless hours in front of a screen snuggled on your couch. Don’t get caught in this habit. Your body needs bones and muscles to work against gravity to stay strong, so make sure to get up and move every couple of hours.
Miles of Bike Rides
Bike riding is a great exercise to get your lungs and heart pumping, but it doesn’t do much for your bones. Because bicycling is not a weight-bearing activity, it does not increase bone density. If you are an avid cyclist, you will want to add some time into a weight room to help your bones.
We all know how bad smoking is for the lungs, but research shows that cigarette smoke also prevents the body from forming healthy bone tissue. Because of this, smokers have a greater chance of breaks and also take longer to heal.
If You Take a Tumble
As the body ages, it is unable to bounce back as quickly as it once did. A fractured or broken bone can take a long time to heal in older adults and can often lead to a decline that is hard to come back from. Clear clutter out of homes to avoid a misstep or install grab bars when necessary.
Too Much Time in Your “Cave”
Homebodies who love staying indoors may be putting themselves at risk for brittle bones. The sun provides healthy vitamin D, which is vital for strong bones. So, by not getting outdoors enough, you may be lacking in the critical vitamin.
A low body weight can mean a greater chance of fracture and bone loss. If you have a BMI of 18.5 or less or if you are small-boned, you may need to add more calcium to your diet. Talk to your doctor about your weight and check on any medical conditions that may be contributing to weight loss.
Foods That Impact Your Bone Health
Another Pitcher of Margaritas
Everyone loves a party, especially one with margaritas. But limiting the amount of alcohol you consume can greatly improve your bone density. Alcohol can interfere with how it absorbs calcium, so it is important to keep the drinks to one a day for women, and two a day for men.
Too Much Salt
The more salt you eat, the more calcium the body loses. Bones need calcium to grow strong and healthy, so there is a problem when the body gets rid of it. You don’t need to cut out salt completely, but try to keep it to 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.
Those with a sweet tooth may want to steer clear of extra treats. While there is no proven link between sugar and its negative effects on bones, the harm may be caused if too much junk food is consumed and not enough nutrient-rich food.
Research has found that consuming seven or more colas per week is associated with a reduction in bone mineral density and an increase in fracture. So, time to ditch the sweet stuff and have a refreshing glass of water and lemon.
Coffee drinkers, beware! Studies have shown that caffeine consumption can contribute to low bone density in postmenopausal women. Caffeine leaches calcium from bones, so those with bone density problems should opt for decaf.
Although some foods are generally thought to be healthy, they may be affecting your bone density. Nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, mushrooms, white potatoes, eggplant, and peppers can cause bone inflammation, leading to osteoporosis.