Smartphones: bad for your brain?

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) About 77 percent of Americans now own a smart phone.

These devices offer the convenient ability to connect with others and retrieve information. But could they be impacting the way your brain works?

Texting …talking … updating … and searching. One survey found the average American spends about three hours on their smart phone every day. That’s about 90 hours a month!

A new study out of the University of Texas at Austin found your cognitive capacity, or the brain’s ability to hold and process data, is significantly reduced when your smart phone is within reach even if it’s turned off!

Researchers studied 800 smartphone users. In one experiment, they found participants who put their phones in another room performed much better on computer based cognitive tests than those with their phones on their desks. And it didn’t matter if the phone was turned off or on or was lying face up or down!

If you want to break your phone habit, try scheduling and limiting time for use. Several apps can help. Offtime blocks distractions like Facebook and games. Moment tracks your usage, lets you set daily limits, and notifies you if you exceed them. Flipd allows you to lock your phone for a set amount of time, and once you do, there’s no going back, even if you restart!

A study found that smartphone usage starts from the moment people wake up! Fifty two percent of people said they checked their phones within 15 minutes of getting up and 86 percent said within an hour.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Jesse Draus, Videographer and Editor.

Reporter:Lindsey Sablan
LindseyWINKNews