We use our devices (cell phones I pads, tabs, laptops and our desktops) everyday, we hunch over them like our lives depend on it. I’m guilty of this I do it all the time. Well this is not good for any of us, studies have proven that our heads are the about 12 pounds and imagine a 12 pound bowling ball slumped over and pulling on your spine. That’s precisely what is happening every time we stoop over to look at our cell phones.
- The weight seen by the spine dramatically increases when flexing the head forward at varying degrees. Loss of the natural curve of the cervical spine leads to incrementally increased stresses about the cervical spine. Theses stresses may lead to early wear and tear, degeneration, and possibly surgeries.
Like I said before the average person’s head weighs about 12 pounds and with being bent over like when you are texting or emailing the force of your head bent over your lap puts a lot of pressure on your cervical spine and it’s a substantial amount of pressure. How much your spine is bent depends on the angle and how much time you spend that way. If you bend your head at a 15 degree angle those 12 pounds that your head normally weighs increases to 27 pounds. Yeah that’s a lot! On an average people spend 2 to 4 hours every day hunched over their devices. In the US alone 1.91 trillion text messages were sent out in 2013. All that amounts to 700 to 1,400 hours per year. High school kids are probably worse because they are never not on their phones it seem, I know when I was a teenager I was on my cell phone texting all the time so yeah I can see them being worse for the wear. The wear and tear on your neck and spine is horrendous you could experience some of these issues:
- Early wear and tear on your spine
- Early spinal degeneration
- Muscle strain
- Pinched nerves
- Herniated discs
- Abnormalities to your necks natural curve
I know that these days it’s impossible to get away from all our devices our lives revolve around them I know my life does but at the same time if we all just learn to sit up, straighten our spines and tilt our heads up just a bit and use our devices at a neutral point it would take all the stress off our neck and spine and we would all have better posture for it. All you would need to do is tilt your chin up (as I said before) at a 45 degree angle, this puts your head over your shoulders, which pushes your chest forward and you won’t be slumped over.
It might be a good idea to do some neck stretches from time to time. Check out the following article for exercises you can do at your desk http://www.miltonchiropractic.co.uk/3-of-the-best-neck-exercises-for-people-with-desk-jobs/
The other thing you could do is not be on your devices so much I know that is a crazy idea but if you get up and stretch leave your device on your desk go take a walk for a while that will really help your neck and spine, plus you might just get some exercise out of it.