Do SmartWatches Emit Radiation? Are They Safe To Wear

Do smartwatches emit radiation? Many users have been contemplating this question in light of the rise of smartwatches’ popularity in the market. 

Despite the various practical uses of these devices, some are apprehensive regarding the potential health hazards associated with the radiation they emit.

While we appreciate the positive aspects of technology, it is essential to discuss these devices’ impact on our health. Due to their widespread usage, smartphones have become the focal point of these issues.

However, as electronics continue to advance to suit our requirements better, we must consider the integration of newer technologies such as wearables. Let’s find out if smartwatches emit radiation.

Do SmartWatches Emit Radiation

Yes, smartwatches and other electronic devices emit radiofrequency (RF) energy. It lacks ionizing properties and cannot displace electrons from atoms or molecules. However, it still affects the human body.

A primary concern regarding smartwatch radiation is that it may increase the risk of developing cancer. However, the evidence is still contradictory, and additional research is required to determine how smartwatch radiation affects the long-term health of individuals.

Wearable Devices Explained

Wearables are small devices fitted with modern technology and computer chips designed to be worn in clothing or directly against the body. People use these devices for entertainment and other endeavors, such as monitoring their physical activity.

Wearables employ low-power radiofrequency (RF) transmitters to send and receive data from your phone or connected devices. RF waves discharge a form of non-ionizing radiation known as radio waves.

Most of the devices use low-power Bluetooth technology, comparable to that of wireless consumer products and “hands-free” headsets for cell phones. Specific devices may also establish connections via WiFi or alternative methods.

Some of the popular wearables include:

  • Smartwatches are the most well-known wearables. They are won on the wrist; connect them to your phone and ensure you are updated with notifications. Some fitness devices can monitor your health and fitness while alerting you to incoming calls, texts, emails, and social media updates.
  • Head-mounted displays are growing in popularity among individuals such as Google Glass, virtual reality (VR), or augmented reality (AR). AR and VR headsets aim to increase the immersion of games and entertainment. Facebook already placed a substantial $2 billion wager in 2014 on Oculus, a technology that had the potential to revolutionize interpersonal communication.
  • Fitness trackers; Fitness monitors are monitoring devices for one’s physical condition and fitness. They also assess sleep quality and monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse rate, calories burned, and steps taken. This wearable helps if you wish to keep your weight in check and other health objectives. Before, they were worn on the wrist, but modern ones are more fashionable and provide more options.
  • Smart jewelry is a blend of smartwatches and fashion. Women mostly use them to enhance beauty and, at the same time, connect to their phones.
  • Sports watches; Serious athletes and active individuals who engage in sports such as cycling, swimming, or hiking are likely to wear a sports watch. In addition to tracking your fitness, many of these devices include GPS.
  • Smart clothing is a more recent and inclusive wearable technology designation encompassing garments that incorporate electronic components to enhance their functionality. 

They include apparel featuring an integrated sensor that tracks your heart rate, GPS, and swimsuits that alert you to excessive sun exposure.

How A Smart Watch Works

In this age of technology, tasks are more convenient than ever before. Smartphones facilitate communication, computers and tablets aid in productivity, and now wearable technology elevates connectivity to an entirely new level.

We know that not every smartwatch can connect to WiFi or mobile networks. However, shouldn’t each smartwatch be capable of connecting to a smartphone? Thus, how does one link a smartwatch to a mobile device?

All modern devices rely on the fast transmission of signals. They do this through radiation which they transmit electromagnetic waves. The waves help the smartwatch transmit the much-needed information between it and the linked device.

This is feasible due to the electromagnetic field (EMF). Both smartphones and smartwatches produce an electromagnetic field that functions as the receiver and transmitter of signals. 

It wirelessly transmits the data whenever the smartwatch comes into contact with the phone’s electromagnetic field.

The EMF is responsible for the smartwatch connecting to Bluetooth, WiFi, and your phone. If your smartwatch is out of range, the EMF connection will be lost.

Can A Smartwatch Cause Cancer?

In 2015, The New York Times published an article claiming that smartwatches could potentially induce cancer.

According to the article, the assertion is founded upon the IARC’s 2011 proclamation that cell phones are “likely carcinogenic to human beings.” Critics contend that smartwatches and cell phones emit identical forms of radiation, which renders them equally dangerous.

However, the statement was incorrect. The announcement contains a note stating that the decision is founded on scant evidence. 

Subsequent investigations involving cells, animals, and humans have demonstrated that radiofrequency radiation does not appear to induce cancer.

Notably, smartwatches and other wearable technologies emit comparatively less energy and frequency than handsets.

There are two types of radiation: ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing radiation encompasses various forms, including microwaves, radiowaves, and smartwatch’s IR waves.

Ionizing radiation has enough energy to displace an electron from an atom. Ionizing radiation can induce molecular changes in molecules, including living organisms. The radiation affects the body’s chemical response, which in turn causes cancer.

Ionizing radiation includes gamma, ultraviolet, and x-ray radiation. It is significantly stronger than visible light. Additionally, radioactive substances emit alpha and beta radiation.

Radiation that cannot displace electrons from atoms cannot alter the chemical composition of substances. It only generates heat and current through conductors, such as antennas.

Non-ionizing radiation includes infrared light, the entire radio spectrum, and microwave radiation utilized by devices such as phones, WiFi, Bluetooth, and microwave appliances.

As previously stated, the smartwatch displays non-ionizing radiation, which poses no significant risk. All commercially available devices must possess SAR values below the thresholds established by regulatory agencies. 

This indicates the safety of the radio waves they emit. Research shows that mobile phone radiation can cause headaches and insomnia. 

One potential concern is that smartwatches may have adverse long-term effects on health due to the emission of radiation.

Individuals have also reported that prolonged use of the watch caused them to experience migraines and nausea. Some individuals struggle to maintain a consistent sleep schedule while wearing the watch.

People should, therefore, place their phones in airport mode when not in use. Smartphone users frequently experience sleep disruptions. This is often the result of excessive use, which leads to a decline in productivity and sleeping problems.

These concerns regarding the health implications of smartwatch use now make sense. These devices utilize EMF radiation, which is known to have some risks but is not fatal. 

As alleged, the radiation is not strong enough to cause harm or cancer. FDA constantly regulates the devices to ensure the safety of the user.

When not utilized appropriately, smartwatches can be equally detrimental to one’s health as computers. These electronic devices may disrupt sleep patterns and reduce overall productivity. Ensure you are responsible and use them as recommended.

Health Risks Associated With Smartwatch Radiation

  • Headaches

Some individuals have shown side effects associated with EMF radiation. This is mainly characterized by frequent nausea and migraines attributed to wearing a smartwatch daily. 

  • Distractions

Establishing and maintaining connections may initially appear to be advantageous. Similar to smartphones, smartwatches too significantly distract the user from the present moment. 

Removing your phone from your pocket during a formal dinner or other social engagement is socially unacceptable. The watch will keep you distracted as you can still browse and send texts.

  • Insomnia

Moreover, some individuals have reported that the use of smartwatches induces insomnia. This is possible after prolonged technology use, as it can impair concentration and productivity. Failure to unplug devices before bedtime causes the most severe complications.

Inadequate sleep can also result in mood swings. Electronic devices emitting blue light, such as smartwatches, laptops, phones, and televisions, can impede the brain’s ability to sleep mostly after use.

What Are Some Simple Ways To Reduce My Exposure?

There are several ways to reduce the quantity of electromagnetic field (EMF) energy that your smartwatch emits:

  • Maintain the watch away from your body when not in use.
  • Avoid sleeping with the watch.
  • Don’t wear it while it charges.
  • Limit the amount of time you wear the watch
  • Opt for hand-free mode if possible
  • Wear the watch in your non-dominant hand
  • Go for watches with low emission ratings

By adhering to these straightforward steps, you can reduce your exposure to the amount of electromagnetic field (EMF) energy your smartwatch emits.

Remember, a smartwatch emits significantly less electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation than other electronic devices, e.g., telephones and laptops.


Do smartwatches emit radiation? The question has been a subject of concern and debate among smartwatch users. 

Smartwatches emit electromagnetic radiation but at low levels within the safety limits of regulatory bodies. Smartwatches emit non-ionizing radiation, such as Bluetooth and WiFi, for connectivity.

The popularity of smartwatches has increased in recent years. They are a favorite as they combine a watch’s convenience and practicality with a contemporary smartphone’s capabilities. They are worn by almost everyone now, from fashion moguls to renowned sportspeople. 

Is it harmful to wear such wearables? With the advent of technology, we can only be responsible and use it accordingly.

David Huner
David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover. After completing his graduation from the University Of Phoenix, he started gather his knowledge mostly on latest technologies that keeps his life smart and cool. Now he wants to spread his knowledge with people who loves technologies.

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