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Study warns using your phone may raise the risk of ADHD

Study warns using your phone may raise the risk of ADHD

Could using your phone increase the risk of developing ADHD symptoms?

We all know it's not great to spend every minute of the day glued to our phones.

That's why both iPhones and Androids now come with a bunch of controls and settings to help you monitor your screen time, from app locks to timers, all with that same goal.

Still, it's hard to get a grasp on what the risks actually are in reality.

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A study from back in 2018, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, has makes some pretty bold suggestions around smartphones and the risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The paper took a group of 15 and 16-year-olds who had no symptoms of ADHD - which include difficulty concentrating and hyperactivity - and studied them for the next 24 months.

The researchers found that there was a common trend: the more these teens used digital media, the more likely they were to develop ADHD symptoms. The risk was higher for boys than girls, and for teens who had depression.

It's particularly interesting as there seems to be a recent rise in adults being diagnosed with ADHD - could this be at least partially down to the constant distractions offered by smartphones?

After all, whether it's social media, video streaming, messaging or more, there are basically countless things you could do on your phone at any given moment, all of which could pull you away from whatever task you're trying to engage with.

Thankfully, there are loads of ways to control how your phone dominates you, if you're keen to reduce its presence in your mind.

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iPhones have screen time controls that you can set up really easily, as well as focus options that let you reduce distractions in a variety of ways.

Whether you're an iOS fan or an Android user, turning off push notifications for apps that don't really need to be able to get your attention at any time can also really help.

Again, outside of messaging and calls, it's unlikely that your apps are actually communicating genuinely important information much of the time - often these notifications are basically just attempts to grab your attention and get you back on the app.

Many experts also recommend disengaging from your phone at night as early as you feasibly can. This might mean charging it in a different room to the one you sleep in and getting a more traditional alarm clock.

These steps are obviously not a cure-all of ADHD, but they're small changes that could help you reduce your reliance on your phone, since this study indicates there might be a link between the two.

Featured Image Credit: Fotografía de eLuVe / somethingway / Getty