How we are evolving due to technology is fascinating to watch but the damage it is causing is phenomenal.
The current generations and generations to follow are causing muscular damage as well as more importantly spine damage due to poor posture. Technology is a massive feature in everyone’s life, to those who spend all day on computers working, those who love to computer game or to everyone who spends hours catching up on social media on their phones. Everyone is guilty for it somewhere along the line.
Smartphone users spend an average of three hours per day bent over reading emails, texts and checking social media sites. With high school students being the worse.
The head weighs an average of 5kg but as the neck bends forward and the head drops down the weight on the cervical spine increases. At just a 15 degree angle the weight increases to about 12kg, at 30 degrees it weighs up to 18kg, 45 degrees 22kg and 60 degrees an average of 27kg. Cant contemplate what 27kg feels like? Try carrying around a boxer dog around your neck for the day. Medical experts have also said that every inch the head tilts forward the pressure on the spine doubles and has been likened to bending a finger all the back and holding it for an hour or so.
Due to this excess weight brought on by poor posture a study published by Kenneth Hansraj found a lead to early degeneration of the spine and can eve lead to surgery. Hansraj the chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation has classed it as an epidemic after saying “look around you, everyone has their heads down”.
So what does this excess weight and head tilt do to us? As the tissue is stretched for a long period of time, it becomes inflamed, and can further cause muscular strains in the surrounding muscles, pinching of nerves, herniated disks and over time can eradicate the necks natural curve all together. Not only will poor posture cause anatomical affects but also physiological such as reducing lung capacity and linked to headaches, neurological issues, depression and heart disease.
Advice to avoid poor posture whilst using technology:
- Phones – look down at your device with eyes only, do not bend the neck.
- Computers – set the monitor at eye level i.e. raise up on some books.
- Game consoles – Set tv at eye level, sit up in the chair.
All should be combined with regular exercise: move your head around, use your hands to provide resistance.
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