According to the screen-time tracking app Moment, an average smartphone user picks up the phone 52 times a day, and spends three hours 57 minutes using it. Image Credit: Unsplash/Creative Christians

If you’ve noticed crow’s feet slowly spready at the corners of your eyes, or new lines on your face that look suspiciously like wrinkles, or sagging skin, you’re ageing – and that’s completely normal. But there may be a few things you’re doing to speed up the ageing process, that you could stop.

Click start to play today’s Spell It, where you can find the word ‘ageing’.

Latest research, published by researchers at US-based Oregon State University on August 31 in the American journal Frontiers in Aging, found that our phone screens may be the newest culprits to accelerate ageing. The study found that blue light from digital light-emitting diode (LED) screens caused fruit flies to age faster – so it could be doing the same to humans, too.

LED screens are so pervasive in the modern age, we see them everywhere – from televisions and desktops to ambient lighting. We’re exposed to it all through our waking hours. The study researchers recommended that people cut down their exposure to blue light as much as possible if they wanted to retain their youthful looks. This can be done by reducing screen time, dimming ambient lights, using screen protectors and setting devices on night mode when possible.

Another factor that causes people to not just age faster but also lose their health, is poor social bonds. A 2010 study published in the US-based journal PLOS Medicine, looked at data over a 7.5-year period, and assessed nearly 309,000 individuals. The study found that people with ‘strong social relationships’ were 50 per cent more likely to survive during the study period than those with poor quality relationships.

The findings were consistent across age, gender, initial health status and cause of death. The significance of strong friendships is considered to be so impactful that its health effect could be compared to quitting smoking, with researchers saying it has an even bigger impact on health that other interventions, like reducing obesity.

If our emotional state and personal relationships can have such a meaningful bearing on our health, then it’s no wonder that holding on to grudges or arguments is another factor that can cause our body to age faster. A 2005 study published in the US-based Journal of Behavioural Medicine found a correlation between resentment or a lack of forgiveness, and stress that causes ageing. The body holds onto stress and trauma through behaviours like clenched jaws, furrowed eyebrows, slumped shoulders, and permanent frowns – all aspects that wear on our mind and body.

What do you think of these ageing factors? Play today’s Spell It and tell us at