“Text Neck”, or the posture that you are in while using your smartphone, has increased in frequency as smartphones have become more prevalent. And, it’s not just “texting”! We consume a massive amount of information via our digital devices via social media, news outlets, etc. This all can lead to an increase in orthopedic and health issues.
Since the inception of the “smartphone,” more and more musculoskeletal issues that physical therapists see can be attributed to our mobile devices. According to the Washington Post, the average human head weighs 8 lbs. As the head starts to creep forward into the infamous “Text Neck” posture, the amount of force that is placed on the head and neck can skyrocket to 60+lbs! That’s like carrying an 8-year-old around on your neck!
This constant position of checking Facebook statuses, responding to e-mails, etc. can add up to 700 to 1400 hours per year! This type of wear-and-tear can create havoc at the neck, low back, and shoulders. Besides looking at this from an orthopedic standpoint, this specific posture can decrease lung capacity up to 30% and can contribute to headaches, depression, neurological issues, and heart disease.
Here are a few tips on how to properly use your smartphone/smart device without placing increased strain on your body:
– Look down at your device using your EYES. NOT using your head/neck.
– Make sure to move your head periodically side-to-side, up-and-down, etc. while using your device to avoid being in one prolonged position.
– Vary positions of use. Try using your smartphone while lying down, standing, or sitting and keeping your neck in a neutral position.
– Take an “electronic break”. Block out time during your day to put your phone down and partake in activities that don’t involve your phone or computer device.
Give these tips a try and save yourself from the dreaded “Text Neck.”
If your TEXT NECK is causing you any problems, then see a chiropractor to work on reversing the forward head carry and/or neck problems that you maybe having.