Now before you get defensive about your beloved connection to the entire world...
We know how important this device is to everyone today, and would never ask you to ditch your phone! We get it...but what we also get is the impact it has on your physical & mental health.
It can negatively impact us by:
Increases Stress Levels
Negatively effects Sleep quality
Negatively effects our Immune Systems
Eye Vision Problems
*Creating Chronic Pain (Neck, shoulders, thumbs, forearms & wrists
For this article, we'll focus on the last point - chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Due to Our Phones
Our bodies are designed to move. When you look at our primitive ancestors, movement was built into their lifestyles, and was not just a 45 minute session, three times a week. The reality is that most of our day-to-day lifestyles are unnatural for the human body.
Can you imagine our ancestors sitting all day staring at a computer screen? Sound like you? When we are not staring at a computer screen, what are we doing? Right...staring at another screen, our phones, tablets, and televisions.
Notice how you're reading this blog post right now - the tendency is to jut out our chins in eagerness as we gorge on information and entertainment at the will of our fingertips. This constant forward position for our heads causes havoc on our bodies/posture.
Simply put, the average head weighs between 10 to 12 pounds. When you tilt your head forward an inch down at your device, you now have added another 10 pounds of force.
Now you have 20 pounds or so of tension/load on your neck, shoulders and upper back.
You picking up what I am putting down? Think about the people that have their chin touching their chest staring at their phones while taking transit - that's now over 40 pounds of force on your delicate neck. OUCH!
It's just an inch, but when this accumulates as a chronic pattern over months and years, now we've got a serious issue. The body learns to hold this posture even during the rare occasion we aren't glued to a screen. It's amazing how small changes in alignment can affect us so gravely. This is an example where the small things really do matter.
While you can see a chiropractor or massage therapist to soften the symptoms of tension, it will return unless we nip the problem in the bud. Now that you understand the possible reasoning behind your pain, you have the power to fix it!
BUT HOW! Keeping good posture of course!
1. Preventative measures & good habit
First thing is holding your phone or tablet closer to eye level, rather than down in your lap. Same goes for people that work at a computer all day. Adjust your seat accordingly so your screen is eye level, and invest in a good chair. Perhaps even get a standing desk. Now that you have changed your bad habits, you can move onto the next step.
2. Improve strength and flexibility
Doing daily neck exercises and stretches can help and reduce the uncomfortable feeling of neck issues. When your neck muscles are strong and flexible, they’re better able to hold good posture. Good posture = Pain free happy bodies. With that in mind, the same applies to the other key postural muscles in your body as well: chest, shoulders and Back.
- Upper trap
- Nose to armpit
- Chin to chest
- Chest Press (Scalene muscles)
- Standing Forward Bend
- Bridge Pose
- Upward-Facing Dog
- Cow Face Pose
- Downward Dog
- Chest Opener
- Eagle arms
- Thoracic extension/heart opener
- Wall squat with angel wings
- Mountain pose
- External Rotations
- Chin Tucks
- Lateral Raises
- locust pose
- Sphynx pose