Don’t give in to text neck. Technology was not invented to harm people.
If you think looking down at your phone all day is something cool and groovy – then listen up.
How often do you think about your neck? Probably not too much and you should give it some love.
You may be surprised to find out the fact that your phone and digital devices are aging you.
Think about how much time per day you spend on your devices. One hour? Two hours? Three hours? It’s easy to find out just how much screen time you do each day or each week. All the phones have the latest gizmos to let you know. And even to block you from viewing, if you need an app to discipline you.
Text neck has become the latest body ailment.
I love technology and devices but I don’t let it run and ruin my life.
How about you?
A Newish Term
Text neck is a term driven by our quasi-modern age.
In 2008, chiropractor Dr Dean Fishman in Florida was examining a 17-year-old patient complaining of neck pain and headaches. The result on this case and others pointed to a repeated stress injury from excessive texting and overuse of handheld devices over a time.
Considering that now people do this for both work and pleasure, leads to it becoming a repetitive stress injury.
Looking down is extremely bad for the alignment of your body. This forward head posture can lead to muscle strain, disc herniations and pinched nerves. Over time, it can even flatten or reverse the natural curve of your neck.
This is not just a mobile phone problem. The potential reaches of text neck affect gamers, tablets, e-readers, PDA, media players, digital camera, video recorders, and more.
The condition of text neck may be somewhat new, and unfortunately now affects millions of people globally.
An average human head weighs about 5 kg or 11 lbs.
Our neck, along with the related muscles, nerves, and tissues all are working to support our head.
As we look down and our head tilts forward, the gravitational pull puts extra weight and stress on the neck and spine.
This contributes to the aging process.
Having good posture both sitting and standing, is a beautiful thing onto itself.
If you tilt your head forward at 60 degrees, the increase can be as if your head now weighs about 27 kg or 60 lbs. This mass is said to be the average weight of an eight-year-old child.
That’s a lot of wear and tear on a delicate area of the body.
Overuse of the head, neck, and shoulders is what happens when excessive strain is put on the spine. This may lead to disorders and other medical conditions.
Try to take a deep breath in a slumped position. Now sit up straight and try again. Experts say slouching can decrease the capability of your lungs by as much as 30%.
Another possible effect is that gastrointestinal problems can be caused by pressure placed on the organs in a bad posture.
Check out this brilliant video on the benefits of good posture by Murat Dalkilinç.
As a health and wellness practitioner, I’m aware how much my posture is affected. My story began with no neck or back pain – just a bit stiff occasionally. My mind was fooling me and saying that I’d get around to fixing myself one day soon.
Some months ago, I checked in with a chiropractor due to some odd amygdala issues I was having. During the basic assessment, I saw how bad my posture was. Oh, my goodness. And it’s not half as bad as people you see walking around daily.
You may notice as I have on myself, that sometimes when standing I favor one leg – which then means also favoring one hip on one side. This throws off your entire postural integration. What to do; get with it, because there’s no need to wait.
So, I started exercises to strengthen muscles that had not been stretched properly or regularly for a long time. Let me emphasize regularly because I’ve done plenty of movement over the years. If you know me, I’m no couch potato.
Over time what tends to occur is that your muscles get used to bad posture. This is a sad truth. It’s taking me time now to wake up those muscles and carefully stretch and strengthen them. It’s getting better and needs to be a regular thing – a frequent habit incorporated into my life. And yours as well.
How Does Aging Fit In?
Progressively our skin also can show signs of aging. Looking down all day may cause sagging skin in the neck. Wrinkles can appear and these may lead to permanent wrinkles around your chin and neck, plus drooping jowls. This isn’t for only the over-50 crowd. It can start when you’re in your 30’s.
There’s another factor about texting. The light known as high-energy visible light (HEV), that comes from your cell phone may also be detrimental to your skin. I’m not going into this here because there hasn’t been enough studies or conclusions.
Back to the subject of wrinkles and text neck.
There are plenty of plastic surgeons who say that they see more patients coming in wanting to fix these text neck wrinkles. There are various procedures, injectables, treatments, skin-tightening, and minimally invasive options. If you want creams or masks, it’s doubtful that they do much if anything – so save your money.
Enter the idea of purchasing a face roller and get in the habit of using it. They aren’t a beauty fad because they’ve been around for centuries. With regular use, you’re helping the lymph and blood circulation in your neck area increase. This improved circulation brings more oxygen to your skin cells, which will ultimately help improve the tone and texture of your skin.
Don’t Give In to Text Neck
• Focus on prevention
• Hold your device at eye level or where you don’t have to tilt your head.
• Above all, the correct posture position is when we align our ears with our shoulders while keeping the shoulder blades pulled back.
• Avoid walking and texting.
• At your workstations, get up regularly and stretch.
• Give up some screen time.
• Stand tall. Check that there’s no curve in your spine between the top of your head and your shoulders.
Create Better Habits for Everyday Living
• Make a choice of how important it is to be electronically connected 24/7.
• Practice prevention.
• Create new habits to use for the long term.
• Exercise and strengthen your core muscles, which support the spine.
• Therefore, when you’re in good health then many positive things in your life cascade from this wellness.
Prevention is the only cure for text neck; this is non-negotiable.
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