Using a smartphone extensively can have a significant impact on your posture, leading to various musculoskeletal issues. If you are not already aware of this then here’s a few postural consequences of using our favourite tech:
Text Neck: Constantly looking down at your smartphone can strain the muscles in your neck and upper back, leading to a condition known as "text neck." This can result in neck pain, headaches, and potential long-term damage to the cervical spine
Forward Head Posture: Holding your head forward while using a smartphone can cause your shoulders to hunch and your upper back to round. This forward head posture can lead to muscle imbalances and contribute to chronic pain issues.
Shoulder and Upper Back Strain: Holding a smartphone for extended periods can strain the muscles in your shoulders and upper back. This can result in discomfort and stiffness in those areas.
Wrist and Thumb Issues: Repetitive use of smartphones, especially for typing or scrolling, can contribute to issues like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and thumb pain.
Eye Strain: Prolonged use of smartphones, particularly in poor lighting conditions, can cause eye strain, dry eyes, and discomfort. This may lead to changes in posture as people adjust their position to alleviate eye discomfort.
The human head weighs about 12 pounds, I joke in my classes that the female head is heavier on account the brain is bigger. There is no science to back this, simply that there are usually more women in the room than men…But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds.
That’s the burden that comes with staring at a smartphone — the way millions do for hours every day.
If you can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours per year people are putting stress on their spines, according to the research.
As you stretch the tissue for a long period of time, it gets sore, it gets inflamed and can also cause muscle strain, pinched nerves, herniated disks and, over time, it can even remove the neck’s natural curve.
Poor posture can cause other problems as well. Experts say it can reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent. It has also been linked to headaches and neurological issues, depression and heart disease.
While it is nearly impossible to avoid the technologies that cause these issues, individuals should make an effort to look at their phones with a neutral spine and to avoid spending hours each day hunched over
Look down at your device with your eyes, at a level that reduces the need to flex your neck and spine.
A yoga practice will help to address the postural issues that are evident across all ages and society with the use of smartphones and technology. Yoga teaches us about our ranges of movement in the joints and how we can take steps to maintain and recover good posture.
Join a class or search out some online movements to start your recovery.