Could poor posture be the result of cellphone use? Absolutely! Prolonged use of smartphones is resulting in poor posture, neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain. The condition has been nicknamed “text neck,” and it is ruining spines across the nation.
We hold our phones at chest level and arch our necks down to stare at our screens. We do this for hours a day. No wonder our necks hurt! Some of us grew up with phones in our hands, so our spines have suffered the consequences for years. Others may be older and have less flexible spines, leading to the same result. Either way, our smartphones may be responsible for our upper back and neck pain.
Flexing your neck in a downward angle is an unnatural position. The body is not meant to be held that way for long periods, yet we do it when we watch videos, browse the internet, scroll through social media and play games. The awkward head flexion associated with cell phone use was researched through this study, which concluded that texting was “a main contributing factor to the occurrence of neck pain.”
So, what do we do about it? Put the cellphone down for good? Tempting but unrealistic. Save your spine from “text neck” by practicing the following:
- Raise your phone and therefore your viewing angle
- Prop your phone/laptop/tablet up with a pillow or angled desk
- Take periodic breaks from your device
- Exercise and stretch regularly