As we know smartwatches are basically small portable computers that work by connecting to your smartphone via the operating systems, be it Apple or android. They can connect via internet or Bluetooth, so you can connect to your phone via that gadget on your wrist. The degree of usage of the smartwatch is quite high, since you can not only access your phone through the smartwatch, you can also access your apps, manage your calendar to keep a track of any activities or events, send and receive messages and also help manage other elements like keeping a track of your fitness and health factors.

Do Smartwatches Give Off Radiation?

It’s the high degree of usage combined with the fact that they emit radiations that may be a cause for concern. However through a balanced approach we can overcome this issue.

The radiations emitted by the smartwatch

Considering the so many benefits that a smartwatch offers and the convenience that comes along makes the smartwatch a tempting purchase. However, before you buy a smartwatch, you should know all there is to know about the technology of the smartwatch. Like any wireless device the smartwatch too radiates radio frequency or RF. Radio frequency is basically a low powered high frequency electromagnetic radiation (EMF radiation) that is emitted when a wireless component or device is being used. 

The RF transmission is used to send and receive data via the internet. The smartwatch uses WIFI and Bluetooth technology for connecting to other devices. Therefore the smartwatch when in use also emits radio frequency that can have a dangerous implication on our health in the long run. If your smartwatch is not being used, but the Bluetooth is enabled on it, it will still be generating radio frequency radiation posing health risks to your body.

While many will argue that the radiations emitted from a smartwatch are less than that of a smartphone, are not very high and are under the limitations set by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) for maximum permissible exposure for radio frequency radiations. These regulations are in line with the international guidelines that have been in effect in so many countries. 

However the fact that the smartwatch is wore on the wrist so it is probably closer to your body than your smartphone may make it perhaps more dangerous. The closer the electronic device, that is the source of radiation, is to the body, the absorption of radiation in to the body will be even higher. 

Moreover, combined with the fact that the smartwatch is a wearable device and you are wearing it constantly, increases the concerns over the radiation emission even more. Most of us wear smartwatches for most parts of the day and some of us even wear them at night when we are asleep. It is the high frequency of using the smartwatch that may make them a health concern. Considering these details, we can safely establish that it would perhaps be a good idea to use this technology moderately and in a balanced way.

Impact of the RF emissions on health

The exposure to radiation in high amounts over a long period of time can have some negative health implications. Let’s look at some of these-

  • When wore over a long period of time, a smartwatch may cause headaches and nausea in individuals. Some people have also faced memory loss or memory gaps due to the smartwatch Individuals may also suffer from mood swings. This may be due to the impact of the radiations on the neurological system of the body. 
  • The blue rays emitted by our smart devices, phone or the watch can disturb our sleep patterns as it is argued that the blue ray emission affect the melatonin levels which is basically a sleep hormone. The blue ray emissions basically disturb the sleep by keeping the brain active and awake. This in turn deprives us of an undisturbed sleep, impacting our quality of sleep and causing other consequences; memory loss or headaches for instance.
  • The radiations from wearable smart gadgets can influence the implants in body if any. For instance if an individual has a pacemaker installed, it would perhaps not be feasible for them to wear the smartwatch as it may be hazardous for health. The companies selling these smartwatches also state on their labels that use of the smartwatch is not advisable for people with an implant. Lesser known impact of the smartwatch is an impact on the reproductive system if the emission of radiation is absorbed over the long run.
  • Some users have also complained of getting rashes or burns on their wrists by wearing the smartwatch which is also because of the radiations emitted. The users of the Garmin watch for instance have faced this issue.

How can you control exposure to radiation?

The smartwatch is undoubtedly one of the most revolutionary technologies of the modern world. Its multiple uses and functionality cannot be denied and have made it a necessity for many. Although there is a concern over the radiations emitted by the smartwatch, they are under the limitations set by the regulatory bodies. Moreover there are a few things we can do to limit our exposure to the radiation emitted by the smartwatch.

  • Unless it is absolutely necessary, try not to wear your smartwatch when you sleep. Rather switch off its connectivity and put it away on your night stand. Do not keep it near your head.
  • When you do not need it, turn off the Bluetooth and the cellular connectivity of the smartwatch by turning the airplane mode on. You can use the basic functions of the watch and curtail the exposure to the dangerous radio frequency radiations.
  • The effects of the RF radiations may also be lessened by the use of a screen or a casing on the smartwatch. This may reduce the severity of the impact to a certain extent.
  • Moreover although it may have become an absolute necessity for you, but we cannot emphasize enough on the moderation in use of anything, particularly if it’s an electronic device. Do try and find a balance between use of technology and taking time off to unwind and let your mind relax a little.