Influence of electromagnetic fields on the circadian rhythm: Implications for human health and disease

Jan Martel, Shih Hsin Chang, Gaétan Chevalier, David M. Ojcius, John D. Young*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Living organisms have evolved within the natural electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of the earth which comprise the global atmospheric electrical circuit, Schumann resonances (SRs) and the geomagnetic field. Research suggests that the circadian rhythm, which controls several physiological functions in the human body, can be influenced by light but also by the earth's EMFs. Cyclic solar disturbances, including sunspots and seasonal weakening of the geomagnetic field, can affect human health, possibly by disrupting the circadian rhythm and downstream physiological functions. Severe disruption of the circadian rhythm increases inflammation which can induce fatigue, fever and flu-like symptoms in a fraction of the population and worsen existing symptoms in old and diseased individuals, leading to periodic spikes of infectious and chronic diseases. Possible mechanisms underlying sensing of the earth's EMFs involve entrainment via electrons and electromagnetic waves, light-dependent radical pair formation in retina cryptochromes, and paramagnetic magnetite nanoparticles. Factors such as electromagnetic pollution from wireless devices, base antennas and low orbit internet satellites, shielding by non-conductive materials used in shoes and buildings, and local geomagnetic anomalies may also affect sensing of the earth's EMFs by the human body and contribute to circadian rhythm disruption and disease development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-59
Number of pages12
JournalBiomedical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 02 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023 Chang Gung University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Circadian rhythm
  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Geomagnetic field
  • Grounding
  • Schumann resonances
  • Humans
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Electromagnetic Fields/adverse effects


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