A Chiropractor’s Concern of Technology Use on Posture and Health
Startling research shows that increased usage of phones and computers bring about a variety of health challenges that compound over time. Surveys conclude that billions of people spend extensive time on cell phones every single day. Chiropractors face concern that cell phone usage occurs with the spine and neck in a flexed, forward position. Prolonged use of a cell phone with the head in a state of forward flexion creates a variety of unwanted health challenges. This health epidemic continues to create new conditions and diagnoses specifically to address forward head posture. Likewise, new strategies develop to counteract the stressors that occur from text neck and computer posture.
Time spent on cell phones continues to increase all over the world. A study performed in 2014 evaluated the effects of forward head posture stemming from the stresses of using cell phones and other devices. The findings clearly showed that computer screens, tablets, and cell phone use create forward head posture and add significant stress to the spine resulting in early spinal degeneration. Loss of the natural curve in the neck leads to incrementally increased stress on the cervical (neck) spine. The stresses accelerate early wear, tear, degeneration, and the increased possibility of surgery.
Poor posture occurs when the head and shoulders tilt forward and the mid back becomes rounded. The average person spends between two to four hours a day with their head flexed forward for reading and texting on their smart phones. This amounts to 700-1400 hours of excess, abnormal cervical spine stress per year. Research shows the average high school student spends even more time on their phone accounting for an extra 5000 hours in poor posture per year.
Good upper spine and body posture defines as the ears being aligned with the shoulders and the scapula retracted. Proper alignment diminishes spinal stress. Not only does good posture create less wear and tear on the spine and discs, it also associates with elevated levels of testosterone, increases in serotonin, decreases in cortisol, and more feelings of confidence. Poor posture associates with reductions in testosterone levels, reduced serotonin, increased cortisol, and reduced feelings of confidence. Regular chiropractic adjustments working together with good posture habits help reduce the stressors of text neck and computer posture while increasing hormones associated with confidence, joy and self-esteem. Take the necessary action steps to avoid this preventable epidemic while still enjoying the benefits that technology affords.
4 Tips to Eliminate Postural Stress from Cell Phones
- Stay on track with your Chiropractic Adjustment Plan – adjustments reduce wear and tear in the joints and discs, lower tension in the muscles, and improve function of the nervous system.
- Utilize Good Posture Habits and tools to support spinal curves and posture, especially when sitting.
- Drink More Water – water forces movement to the bathroom every 60-90 minutes.
- Stretch the head, neck, shoulders, lower back, and legs 2x per day.