There are few professions in today’s world that do not utilize technology in some form. Although helpful in many ways, technology can be very challenging for the body. This is especially true when it is used for hours at a time. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has some very useful advice that we’d like to share with you!
Good posture is important to your health. When you bend forward to watch electronic devices like your cell phone, you increase pressure on your discs and increase loads on your muscles. The faulty forward position also happens when you bend forward to look down at a computer or laptop. Always remember to:
- Sit upright with your ears over your shoulders.
- Look down with your eyes, and if you wear bifocals or glasses, make sure you also can scan the entire screen without moving your head.
- Never pinch the phone between your ear and shoulder. Use a headset to reduce shoulder strain.
- When sitting at a device, make sure your feet are firmly flat on the floor or footrest with your knees lower than your hips. Make sure you can use the device without reaching.
- Take breaks! Get up and move around.
Technology is no longer just for the working professional! First and Second grade students are learning how to use computers. Kids as early as age 7 have their own cell phones. It’s the way of the future. And it’s very important to know how to protect your neck from the damage that can come from excessive, and improper use, of technology. Again, from the ACA:
How to Avoid Text Neck
- Sit up straight with your chest out and your shoulders back.
- Bring your arms up in front of your eyes so that you don’t need to look down to see the screen.
- Tuck your chin into your chest to look down rather than dropping your head forward.
- If you must use your mobile device for lengthy typing, invest in an external keyboard.
- Rest your forearms on a pillow while typing to help minimize neck tension.
- Avoid using mobile devices while in bright sunlight. Straining to see the screen leads to jutting the chin forward, shifting work from the spine to the muscles that hold up the head.
- Avoid texting for long periods of time while traveling in the car.
If technology is affecting your spinal health, we’re here to help you move better, feel better, and live better!