Do you know that your posture is being altered by nothing else but your cell phone? An article that appeared in the Washington Post confirms this. The use of cell phones, especially smart phones that we all really love is taking a toll on your health and posture. This is a bad habit that everyone commits daily; spending hours gazing at small screens causes most people to strain their necks & increases their forward head position.
Statistics don’t lie;
Your Phone is destroying your Posture!
According to the Washington Post article, your neck is massively strained due to the forward head posture attained from staring at small screens closer to your face. Averagely, a human head weighs approximately 12 pounds, which can increase by up to 5X if the head is positioned forward. This means that you risk walking around with a 60-pound weight on your head!
Imagine what such weight can do; your muscles and neck joints can stretch to their furthest end, leading to tightened muscles, headaches, neck pain and muscles soreness. With time, these effects accumulate and deter the movement of your spine’s vertebra and can strain your nerves and spinal discs.
It is more complicated than this because the impact is beyond the neck pain. One amazing characteristic of our body is its ability to compensate and find the path of very minimal resistance. Therefore, whenever you strain your neck, the impact will be felt by other parts of the body as well. In most cases, the following are frequently experienced at the same time:
All of the above can cause harm to your body, such as shoulder impingement syndrome, neck pain, lower back pain, rotator cuff injuries, tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, among others. It is surprising that children nowadays and even some athletes can no longer touch their toes as a result of this observable fact and a variety of postural adjustments due to usage of cell phones.
Actions to Be Taken To Maintain Your Posture
Nowadays, it is impossible to tell anyone to stop texting often, which is a fact. However, the effect your phone has on your posture can be lessened by doing a few basic things. There are actually two very easy steps you can do to safeguard your posture;
1. Frequently Reverse Your Posture throughout the Day
Frequent reversal of your posture throughout the day is possibly the most significant strategy. Constant changes to your body posture will compel your body to adjust to various positions it is placed in, and should be reminded to maintain the normal posture. If your job entails sitting at a desk the whole day, make it a habit to frequently walk around. When you choose to text, learn to reverse your forward head posture.
2. Move Your Cell Phones Closer to Your Eyes and Not Your Eyes to the Cell Phone
There is actually nothing wrong with using your cell phone, as they don’t really cause posture problems. The problem sets in when you have to strain to see the tiny screen, forcing you to move your eyes closer to the screen to view its content. This leads to the ripple effect as well as forward head posture as discussed earlier. Ideally, learn to move your phone closer to your eyes instead.
You should also try out a very simple exercise that is often used; the shoulder W with a chin tuck. A physiotherapist can show you the proper technique on how to perform this exercise & give you a strengthening program for your posture.
Whenever you feel like your neck is getting strained, try this exercise throughout the day. This and other strength programs will go a long way in safeguarding your posture. Don’t let phones and text messaging distort your posture and lead to various other challenges, always remember these statistics and stay conscious of your posture all day long.