Are Smartwatches Really Safe To Wear All The Time?

Expert Verified By

Don't ignore the risks of wearing smartwatches all the time!

Story Highlights
  • The smartwatch market has seen sharp growth in recent years, and the upward trend is expected to continue in the upcoming years.
  • Wearing smartwatches all the time can cause skin irritation, wrist pain, bacterial infections, and more. However, no significant health impacts were found.
  • Regularly remove the watch, keep the bands clean, and don’t wear it too tightly to avoid such risks.

We live in an era of wearable tech, and smartwatches are the best example of how deeply advanced technology is deeply ingrained into our daily lives. From monitoring health to fitting modern-day aesthetics, they serve many functions. But are smartwatches really safe to wear all the time? Let’s find out. 


Rising Use Of Smartwatches

Smartwatches are the present trend. This piece of tech has seen increasing use in almost all parts of the world. One reason is that it can conveniently monitor your health, such as heart rate, sleeping patterns, exercise and physical activities, and daily steps through extensive sensors.

You don’t need to purchase costly measurement tools to track different aspects of your health. Smartwatches are an all-in-one package. Consequently, the data is super helpful for those who are health-conscious or on a mission to shed some extra pounds.

Apart from this, connect a smartwatch to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and it lets you make and pick calls, view text messages/notifications, control music, and many other features. Such accessibility options come in handy when you are driving or working and cannot afford to pick up the phone repeatedly. 

Smartwatches Have Several Built-In Features
Smartwatches Have Several Built-In Features (Image By beatXP)

Furthermore, the color range is not just limited to black or white; you can choose from an array of colors based on your liking and personality. Also, it lets you customize wallpapers and themes that add to the desirability of this tech product.

Lastly, they look chic and can go nicely with almost all kinds of outfits. You can wear them to any event, from formal meetings to casual parties, and they will not look odd. 

Hence, all these factors collectively contribute to the rising popularity of smartwatches. The smartwatch market size is expected to reach 583.81 million units by 2029.


Are They Safe To Wear All The Time?

Like all tech devices, smartwatches emit radiation due to Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity. However, it emits non-ionizing radiation in low amounts, which is considered safe by the WHO and other reputable health organizations.

If you wear the smartwatch all day long without giving healthy breaks in between, it will strain your wrist or even cause nerve damage if the dial is bulky. Plus, wearing the bands too tightly can cause skin irritation and wrist pain, according to Apple Support.

From a psychological point of view, smartwatches can be a source of distraction. You look at your watch whenever there’s a notification or a ring. Moreover, you can get compulsively fixated on the provided feedback by constantly checking and worrying about improving your health scores.

Wearing smartwatches all the time can also provide a breeding ground for bacteria. A study by Mendoca et al. (2023) recruited participants who consistently wore smartwatches for most of the day. They found that 95% of the bands were contaminated with bacteria, while plastic and rubber bands were the most prone to bacterial growth. This can give rise to various skin infections.

Rubber Straps Are More Prone To Bacterial Growth
Rubber Straps Are More Prone To Bacterial Growth (Image By STAT News)

Tips To Wear A Smartwatch Safely

As someone who has religiously worn a smartwatch for the past 2 years, I have learned a few tips that help me maintain a healthy balance. For instance, I take off the watch for at least 5 hours a day to give my wrist room to breathe and move naturally. Meanwhile, I also clean the bands to remove the built-up bacterial growth.

In addition, I go for medium-sized dials as bulky dials tend to weigh down on the wrist bones, which can have adverse effects in the long term. Pair it with a comfortable band material with breathing properties so your skin does not suffer irritation or lack of oxygenation. 

Select Comfortable Watches That Will Go Easy On Your Wrist
Select Comfortable Watches That Will Go Easy On Your Wrist (Image By Tratenor)

Never wear the watch too tightly since it may restrict the blood flow or cause numbness. If the watch leaves marks on your wrist, you wear it too tight. Adjust the band to your comfort level, ensuring it’s not too loose as it allows excessive watch movement around your wrist.

Conclusively, smartwatches can be a valuable device for keeping track of your fitness data when worn in moderation. I would not recommend wearing the watch throughout the day as avoiding the potential risks is better than regretting later.


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