(WXYZ) – Many of us in the medical community have long feared that our over-reliance on cell phones could be hurting our brains. According to a recent study, there’s cause for concern. As it turns out, simply having your smartphone in the same room with you can significantly reduce brain power — even when the phone is turned off!
They had participants sit at computers and perform a series of challenging cognitive tasks. Before they began, they were told to place their cell phones in one of three places: either on the desk face down, in their pocket or personal bag, or in another room. Those who had their phones in another room significantly outperformed those with their phones on the desk — they also did slightly better than those participants who’d kept their phones in a pocket or bag.
There are a few guidelines you can follow to keep your brain working optimally in the Age of the Cell Phone.
- Don’t keep your smartphone in your pocket all day. It’s unhealthy, and it might reduce your brain power.
- In fact, limit ALL screen time throughout the day. Get outside and get some fresh air.
- Practice being mindful, to train your brain to focus on one thing at a time.
- When you have serious work to do, put your phone in a separate room. That’ll help you avoid “brain drain”.
We all have limited cognitive resources. “Brain drain” happens when thinking about one thing reduces your ability to focus on another. In this case, when study participants had their cell phone within reach, a part of them couldn’t stop thinking about it. And that lack of concentration reduced their ability to solve complex problems.
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