Posted by: Pamela Kalivas | March 11, 2015

Posture Perfect: Are Smartphone Habits Taking a Toll on Your Body?

Texting Neck             Is your smartphone being a pain in the neck? These days, your smartphone could literally be causing you pain due to an epidemic known as “text neck.” Although you may not realize it, being so focused on your smartphone actually gives rise to “text neck.” Looking down at the screen causes you to hold your neck and upper back in abnormal positions for a long period of time.

A human head weights about 10-12 pounds in neutral position, but tilting your head downward and forward actually increases forces on the neck by five times or more. According to Jacque Wilson of CNN,  looking at a smartphone in your lap in forward posture creates conditions where the neck is really holding up 20 or 30 pounds. This results in poor posture, as well as dull aches/sharp pain in the back, neck, and shoulder areas. So, to help straighten you up, here are some tips:Toll of Texting

1. Posture Follows Vision: Kenneth Hansraj, M.D. and orthopedic surgeon, suggests that instead of slouching and blindly staring at your phone for hours, carry your smartphone at chest height with your head up. Rather than tilting your head, move just your eyes downward.

Neck Stretches

 

2. Remember to Take a Break: Although it can be easy to forget, your neck needs a break too! When your neck is stuck in one position for a long period of time, this can eventually lead to muscle weakness and nerve damage. Every so often, pause your game or save the texting for later and remember to stop and swivel your head – up and down, then side to side.

3. Help Support You: According to Dr. Michelle Collie, director of Performance Physical Therapy, using a docking station as well as wrist guards can help support the weight of a mobile device. Furthermore, an app was created by Fishman’s Text Neck Institute that actually lets you know when you’re at risk for “text neck” by shining a red light on the top left corner of your phone. When the phone is held at an acceptable angle for viewing, a green light appears instead.Phone Stand 1

Although your smartphone may seem like your best friend, these phone habits can take a toll on your health. So remember, always keep your head up and even if it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day, sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.

~Pam

Sources:

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